81-year-old man scaled fence, disappeared from assisted living facility

WFLA - LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) - Police are searching for a missing, endangered man who escaped from a nursing home in Lakeland, Florida.

Surveillance video shows John Thomas, 81, climb over a 6-foot fence and walk away from Lakeland Manor Assisted Living Facility, which is located on Bon Air Street.  He has been missing from the home since Monday.

Lakeland police say Thomas was only at the facility for five days.  He was in jail from May through December on misdemeanor charges for carrying a concealed weapon and failure to appear.

Thomas is a veteran, and a veteran's group helped transport him to the nursing home on December 7.

Two days after he escaped, Thomas was spotted at an impound lot in Tampa.  Police said he tried to get his car back, which was impounded during his time in jail.  Unfortunately, the car had already been crushed and Thomas has not been spotted since.

Previously, Thomas was living out of his car in the Tampa area.

Police said Thomas has dementia and other medical issues and is not in possession of his medication.

Thomas is 5'06" tall and approximately 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, black hat and "Croc" style shoes.

If you see Thomas, please call Det. Laura Robertson at (863) 834-6974, (863) 559-0671 or via email at laura.robertson@lakelandgov.net.


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