UPDATE: Convicted thief caught after escaping from halfway house

Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 10:40 PM MDT
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UPDATE: A Craigslist scammer who ran away from a halfway house is back in custody. Colorado Springs Police tell 11 News they arrested Tyshawn Gayle at an apartment complex on North Nevada the day after our 11 Call For Action investigation aired.

Tyshawn Gayle would find roomates on Craigslist and then steal from them. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison last year.


11 News has learned a man convicted after finding roommates on Craigslist and then stealing from them is now on the run.

Tyshawn Gayle was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of mandatory parole in April 2018. New documents 11 News obtained from the Department of Corrections show Gayle was given an opportunity to go to a halfway house at the start of 2019 and then just walked away.

"He's a con artist," said Mark Hendrix. "He obviously played the system and got away with it."

Hendrix says he offered Gayle a room after he found him on Craigslist in 2016. It wasn't long before he caught him stealing.

"Little small, petty stuff, and then it started getting bigger and bigger," said Hendrix.

It's a pattern spelled out in court documents over and over again. More than 10 victims have similar stories of letting Gayle in as a roomate and then items go missing. Arrest papers for Gayle show one mom told police that he stole her 10-year-old son's christmas presents.

Detectives sent out an alert about Gayle and his string of crimes in January 2018. After KKTV and other news outlets shared the story, Gayle was arrested 48 hours later. Police say several other victims also came forward after seeing Gayle on the news.

Court records show Gayle took a plea deal in February 2018. He was sentenced in April 2018 for robbery and theft charges. He was supposed to serve five years in the state prison system followed by five years of parole. Records 11 News requested from the Department of Corrections show he served less than a year and then was given the opportunity to go to a halfway house. Then, he just walked away.

The state prison system tells 11 News was able to get out of prison based on a formula for good behavior and because he's not a violent criminal. The DOC says when he is caught he will have a new escape charge and a new sentence.