Three inmates escape from Laval prisons over ten-day period

By Robert Frank

Corrections Canada is having a close look at its procedures after three convicts escaped, one after another, from its Laval penal facilities in less than two

“It is very unusual,” spokesman Serge Abergel told
The Suburban in an interview. “During the past 12
months there were only six escapes in the entire
Quebec region out of a total inmate population of
about 3,000.”

“This is a very rare occurrence that we are taking
very seriously,” he added.

Sûreté du Québec succeeded in recapturing the first
escapee, Alex Michaud-Robitaille, Oct. 4, in Lavaltrie,
Quebec, after he disappeared from its Sainte Anne des
Plaines prison five days earlier.

They are still on the lookout for fugitives Philippe
Pelletier, 32, who was reported missing from the
Corrections Canada’s Montée St. François prison Oct.
3; as well as Gilles Meloche, 56, who vanished from the
same facility, Oct. 7.

Pelletier was almost two-years through a six-year
sentence for theft, possession of a weapon and other
offenses. Meloche had been serving an indeterminate
sentence since 1980, for second degree murder, attempted murder, forcible confinement, theft and armed robbery.

He had been assigned to increasingly lower-security
institutions as his rehabilitation progressed over the

“Only people who are the least dangerous are
assigned to minimum security facilities, so both individuals who remain at large are assessed as being of
low risk to public safety,” Abergel reassured.
“Correctional Service Canada is fully cooperating with
Sûreté du Québec and Laval police to help them locate
these individuals as rapidly as possible.”

Once caught, Corrections Canada policy specifies
that escapees can be transferred to a higher-security
facility. Prosecutors also have the option of laying
additional criminal charges for escaping legal custody.

Pelletier is 1.78 m tall, weighs 72 kg and has brown
eyes, brown hair and a sun tattoo on his back. He also
has a surgical scar on his abdomen and a scar on his
left eyebrow.

Meloche is 1.7 m tall, weighs 109 kg and has blue
eyes, shaved brown hair and wears glasses with black
frames. He has a skull tattoo on his right arm, a heart
tattoo on the inside of his left arm, a genie tattoo on
the top of his left arm and a scar on his left hand.

Police are looking for murder convict Gilles Meloche, one of three recent fugitives from Laval prisons.

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