Surfside Beach police catch prison escapee at Myrtle Beach area adult entertainment club

A man convicted of burglaries in Surfside Beach, who escaped last week from a work detail with the state Department of Corrections, was arrested late Tuesday at a Myrtle Beach area adult entertainment business, according to authorities.

Billy Jack Hanna, 41, escaped from state prison custody Sept. 5, when he walked away from a job site in Charleston County, Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick said. Local police suspected Hanna had returned to the Surfside Beach area and worked with agents from the Department of Corrections to track him.

Investigators narrowly missed capturing Hanna twice last week while conducting surveillance and undercover operations in the area, Frederick said. Hanna is suspected of forging stolen checks to fund his escape.

Hanna was found about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Myrtle Beach area adult entertainment club, but Frederick did not reveal the name of the club in a news release about Hanna’s arrest. Hanna was taken by correctional investigators to an undisclosed facility where he will face additional charges in connection with his escape.

Hanna was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with burglaries in the Surfside Beach area. Police arrested him on those charges in November 2010 at a homeless shelter in Atlantic City, N.J., and returned him to Horry County for prosecution.

Police monitored burglary sites to protect prior victims because Hanna had been known to return to previous burglary locations, Frederick said.

During the investigation officers found a burglary site in the Horry County Police jurisdiction where Hanna is the suspect, Frederick said. It was suspected that Hanna had been hiding at an Horry County campground for several days while eluding police.

“This guy is dangerous, and he had several victims here in Surfside Beach rightfully worried,” Frederick said. “We were going to stay on him until we caught him. We’re obviously happy with the result, and very proud of all of the officers involved.”