James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage are back in police custody after they escaped from William Head institution on Sunday. (Correctional Service of Canada/Facebook)

Escaped Vancouver Island prison inmates back in custody

Dangerous duo located by off-duty RCMP officer

Two inmates who were at large after escaping from a Metchosin prison earlier this week have been recaptured after they were spotted by an off-duty RCMP member in Esquimalt.

James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage escaped from William Head Institution on Sunday. Police said the pair was dangerous and asked the public not approach if they were spotted.

READ ALSO: Escaped inmates serving time for second-degree murder, aggravated assault

On Tuesday at approximately 8 p.m., the pair were located in Esquimalt by the off-duty officer. The Victoria Police Department made the arrests and have since turned the inmates over to West Shore RCMP.

In a media release, West Shore RCMP thanked the public, VicPD and the off-duty officer who located the escaped inmates and acted quickly.

Busch, 42, is serving a sentence for second-degree murder and assault, and has served time in the past for aggravated sexual assault and escaping custody.

READ ALSO: Search continues for escaped William Head prisoners

Armitage, 30, is serving a 13-year, 10-month sentence for robbery, aggravated assault and other offences.

Prior to the capture, William Head Institution said an investigation was underway to determine the circumstances of the duo’s escape.

The Metchosin prison is a federal minimum-security facility for men, located approximately 40 kilometres from Victoria. It opened in 1959 and can house approximately 190 offenders.

William Head is the only federal penitentiary on Vancouver Island and approximately 50 per cent of its inmates are serving life sentences.

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