BLACK RIVER FALLS (WAOW) – A man released from prison a month ago and wanted in a spree of crimes in several counties has vanished and the trail in the search for him has gone cold, authorities said Thursday.
Eric “Buck” Hall, 38, eluded Wood County Sheriff's deputies at a home in Vesper June 16 and is suspected of later stealing a 2005 Pontiac Montana mini-van near Merrillan and fleeing.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department said that vehicle has not been recovered and there were no new leads in the search for Hall.
Hall has reportedly been seen near Rhinelander, Vesper and in Jackson County since being released from prison June 10 and wanted in the theft of vehicles in River Falls and Chippewa County just days later. He is also suspected of burglarizing homes in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties.
Hall is considered armed and dangerous because he is suspected of stealing a pickup truck in western Wisconsin that had a shotgun and rifle with ammunition, investigators have said.
Christopher Kowalczyk, an investigator with the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department, said Thursday that Hall is suspected of at least six vehicle thefts, all of them taken because keys were found in the ignitions.
It is believed that Hall has committed burglaries in which several thousand dollars were stolen, Kowalczyk said.
“I just think luck has gotten him this far,” the investigator said. “There has been a couple of tips from out of state but nothing confirmed. Talking to his ex-girlfriend and a few others, this is his cat and mouse game.”
According to Kowalczyk, Hall has spent about half of his adult life in prison, mostly related to auto theft and burglaries.
Lt. Shawn Becker of the Wood County Sheriff's Department said Thursday his agency had no new leads on Hall's whereabouts.
“We have no idea where he is. We don't believe he is in the area,” Becker said.
Hall once lived in Wood County and has relatives and friends in the area, authorities have said.