Victim of theft by escaped state prisoner learns it will take months before compensation

Posted at 1:46 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 03:46:01-04

A man whose car was stolen by an escaped prisoner from the Loxley Work Release Center last week now finds himself without his car or his tools to make a living.

Making matters worse, he tells FOX10 News the state won’t be able to do anything about it for three to four months.

This story started Monday, July 23, 2018, when 37-year-old Cory Kingery walked out of the Loxley Work Release Center. The next day, John Smith’s car was stolen from the Goodyear store in Spanish Fort where he’s worked for 10 years. Inside the car were many tools he’s accumulated over nearly two decades.

“The tools is tools that I gathered over the 17 years that I’ve been working for Goodyear,” Smith said. “They help me perform my job and it also helps me provides for me to take care of my family and without these tools, it’s hard for me to do that.”

On Wednesday, Kingery was apprehended in Birmingham, but not before police said he crashed Smith’s car. The tools were also missing. The car was impounded and is accruing a daily charge of $40. Smith said he reached out to the State Department of Corrections several times before getting a response on what he would have to do to be compensated.

“Later on I was contacted by a gentleman that told me that told me how I needed to go about doing the claim and said that it would be at least three or four months before they really can look at it,” Smith explained. “Because he said they only meet once a quarter and they had just met last week.”

Meanwhile, Smith’s said impound fees on his car have already reached $480 and he said he’s finding it difficult to make ends meet without his tools.

“I have kids. I have a wife and a mortgage, you know,” Smith said. “Four months…that’s going to put me…I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to sustain being able to pay my bills, but it’s going to hurt though.”

FOX10 News reached out to the Alabama Department of Corrections regarding recent escapes from the Loxley facility and we asked specifically about Smith’s situation. The only response we got was regarding staffing at the work release center, but nothing about the car, tools or impound fees.