Search dogs catch scent, but no sign, of fugitive

Britt Privatte escaped from Montgomery County Jail on Sunday

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

CONROE, Texas - Texas Department of Criminal Justice tracking dogs followed a scent late Tuesday afternoon that may belong to Montgomery County Jail escapee Britt Privatte.

The 40-year-old is believed to have scaled an interior wall of the jail to make his escape sometime during the morning or early afternoon hours of Sunday.

"We feel like he's very dirty, tired, thirsty, hungry," said Lt. Dan Norris with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Norris said detectives feel like Privatte is still somewhere in the Montgomery County area. 

"Our investigators have not been able to tie anyone on the outside to helping him at this point," said Norris.

Norris said detectives received word from a passerby that Privatte may have been spotted walking along a set of railroad tracks near Frazier and Loop 336 in Conroe. That sighting came around midnight and search dogs did pick up a possible scent in that area.

Norris said several of Privatte's fellow inmates at the jail have also now been charged with hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. Privatte was last seen in the jail's recreation yard.

"They helped lift him up high enough to where he could climb up the wall of the recreation area," said Norris.

Norris said Privatte was then able to pry back protective screening and make his way on the jail's roof. Norris said investigators believe access to the roof allowed Privatte to just past an interior security fence and possibly the jail's exterior fence that is topped with razor wire.

"If he was able to scale the roof to another part of the building, he could in fact come down where there was not fencing," said Norris.

Norris said the jail's command staff is now reviewing all security measures to determine how Privatte exploited weak spots. Norris said investigators are also reviewing where jail guards were during the inmates' recreation time.

"It's not uncommon for the guards to walk in and out of that area," said Norris.

Privatte was being held in the Montgomery County while awaiting trial on several felony charges, including aggravated robbery.

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