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Juvenile Escapee Arrested In Clay County

Deputies Searched 12 Hours For Teen Wanted On Several Charges

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-year-old who escaped from a juvenile halfway house in Duval County was arrested early Friday in Clay County after an extensive search and investigation by deputies.

Investigators said they found out that Cody Thatcher was hiding in the Greenwood subdivision and waiting for transportation out of the area.

Investigators said they developed a plan to stop the vehicle Thatcher was in at a predetermined location. A felony traffic stop was conducted, and Thatcher was taken into custody without incident, deputies said. They said he was armed with a .380 pistol that he had stolen the night before during a burglary.

Thatcher was arrested on a warrant out of Clay County on charges of grand theft auto, armed burglary to an unoccupied dwelling and carrying a concealed firearm. Additionally, a hold was placed on him for the escape warrant for Duval County, where he was being held in the Juvenile Detention Center.

Residents of neighborhoods all along County Road 220 and College Drive were likely aware of the initial search for Thatcher that occurred for about 12 hours from Wednesday night into early Thursday, deputies said.

According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, a K-9 deputy named Santos was injured during the initial search when it jumped across a fence in attempt to track the suspect. Santos is recovering from surgery and is expected to recover from the injuries.