Search For Fugitive Shifts Into Chenango County

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 19, 2006 at 11:20 PM EDT

State Police are shifting manpower to the Bainbridge and Afton areas to search for Ralph "Bucky" Phillips.

They suspect a string of minor home break-ins in that area may be the work of the escape convict.

"We're investigating those and we're seeing if we can make a connection or not depending on the circumstances," says Captain Eric Janis of New York State Police.

State Police have set up checkpoints on highways and rural roads around Bainbridge and Afton.

Seeing the Mobile Response Team searching a farm off Route 7 leaves neighbors with an uneasy feeling.

"Everybody's uncomfortable. You take your keys, you look your doors, you don't leave your vehicles around. Matter of fact, I got a loaded gun," says Fred Lee of Bainbridge.

"It's kind of scary because my grandmother, I'm afraid to leave her alone. With him coming so close, it seems like he could be right in our backyard," says Daniel Racquet of Bainbridge.

While State Police scour Afton and Bainbridge for Phillips, they're not ruling out that he fled the area.

As a native american, he has ties to indian reservations in western New York.

"He does have associates, friends, possibly relatives from some of the reservations. We've been working with the police out in Western New York to check into that aspect," says Janis.

State Police know Phillips has a history of hiding out.

But local, state and federal officers are committed to staying on his trail in until he's caught.

State Police say while the search area has changed, they will keep the command at the Colesville Fire Hall.

If you have any information that could lead to Phillip's arrest, you're asked to call State Police at 693-0100.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.