The manhunt for fugitive killer Danelo Cavalcante has entered its 13th day, as police warn the convict is now armed after breaking into a home and stealing a rifle.
Cavalcante was serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and awaiting transfer at the Chester County Prison, 30 miles west of Philadelphia, when he escaped by climbing a wall on August 31.
He was last seen on Monday night breaking into a home in East Nantmeal – 20 miles from the search area police had spent days combing. The homeowner shot him seven times, but it’s not clear whether any of the shots hit him.
Police say the killer managed to get away with a a .22 caliber rifle.
The manhunt for fugitive murderer Danelo Cavalcante has expanded after several sightings over the weekend. He is seen outside a former coworker’s home
Dog the Bounty Hunter has apparently been making calls to local contacts and police as he considers jumping into the search
State police said on Facebook shortly before 2am on Tuesday they were pursuing Cavalcante in the South Coventry Township, adding that he was ‘armed with a weapon.’
‘He is armed. Residents in the area are asked to lock all doors and windows, secure vehicles, and remain indoors. Do not approach. Call 911 if seen,’ state police said.
It was the first sighting reported since Saturday, when Cavalcante stole a van and tried contacting former coworker’s before dumping the vehicle in a field.
The Owen J. Roberts School District in Chester County announced t would be closed on Tuesday as the community stays on alert. Moreover, four schools in the neighboring Downingtown Area School District will keep their activities indoors.
Now, TMZ reports Dog the Bounty Hunter wants to get in on the manhunt, and has been monitoring the search, but wants to get a ‘better sense of the lay of the land’ before he flies out to the area.
Police had focused their search in the perimeter near the prison, where he had been spotted several times last week. But on Saturday, a clean-shaven Cavalcante was seen outside a former colleague’s home through a ring doorbell camera in East Pikeland Township, before he was spotted outside a different ex co-worker’s home in nearby Phoenixville.
On Sunday, police found a 2020 Ford Transit van Cavalcante in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township – well outside the previous search area
Cavalcante was seen wearing a black baseball-style hat, a green hooded sweatshirt, green prison pants and white shoes as he appeared to smirk at the doorbell camera at one of his former colleague’s home.
The homes are both outside the perimeter where police initially focused, leading to questions about how Cavalcante slipped by hundreds of officers patrolling the area.
State police lieutenant George Bivens vowed to ‘aggressively continue’ the search with the aid of federal, state, county and local resources and expressed confidence that the fugitive would eventually be recaptured.
‘This is a minor setback,’ he said. ‘We´ll get him, it´s a matter of time.’
Cops have warned local residents that Cavalcante is extremely dangerous and urged them to lock their doors. Authorities have now raised the reward for information to $25,000.
Cavalcante was seen on surveillance camera in the prison’s outdoor area looking at the camera before ‘crab walking’ between two walls, scaling a fence and jumping over razor wire during the daring break out that took place in broad daylight on August 31.
Last week the prison guard who did not see or report the escape was fired. Prison officials told CNN, the corrections officer was an 18-year veteran of the prison.
Before this weekend, there were repeated sightings of the ‘extremely dangerous’ killer in the 759 square mile search area around the prison.
On Sunday, police found a 2020 Ford Transit van Cavalcante had stolen in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township – outside the previous search area. Cavalcante had taken it from the West Chester based Baily’s Dairy, near the prison.
Baily´s Dairy said on its Facebook page that the delivery van was stolen between 7pm and 10pm Saturday ‘while we were still here working.’
Bivens said he believed Cavalcante abandoned the vehicle at least in part because it was low on fuel. While law enforcement was searching the immediate area for any signs of him authorities were concerned that he would attempt to obtain another vehicle or had already done so.
‘We are obviously very concerned that Cavalcante has or will attempt to steal another vehicle to facilitate his escape,’ Bivens said. ‘This most recent incident is a reminder that he will take advantage of any opportunity to obtain items he needs.’
The theft wasn’t noticed for hours, and in the meantime Cavalcante, 34, traveled more than 20 miles northeast to East Pikeland Township and Phoenixville. Shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday he went to an East Pikeland Township home of a person he had worked with several years ago and asked to meet with him, police said.
Cavalcante is also wanted in a 2017 homicide case in his native country of Brazil