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"Slippery" escape from Arctic jail leaves prisoner at large

OSLO, Norway -- (AP) Prisoner literally slips out of Norwegian jail after smearing himself with vegetable oil. A Lithuanian held on suspicion of theft in an Arctic Norway jail slipped out of custody  -- literally -- by stripping naked, smearing himself with vegetable oil and sliding through the prison bars, police said Wednesday.

"He slipped through the bars on Christmas Eve," said Svein-Erik Jacobsen, operation leader for the Oest-Finnmark Police District. The unusual escape made national news in Norway on Wednesday.

Another Lithuanian, held as an accomplice in the same cell, also used the technique to try to slip out of a window of the Vadsoe Jail, but failed, apparently because he was too big. The men had managed to bend the bars slightly to gain more space.

"It was a good effort," Jacobsen said. "But all he did was get his head and part of his shoulder through the bars."

A police news release identified the escaped suspect as Yuris Sinkevicius, 25, and said he was 174 centimeters (5 feet, 8 inches) tall and thin. He remained at large. The statement did not name the second suspect.

Both were arrested in Sweden in late October on suspicion of being involved in an organized grand theft ring that had hit targets in northern Norway and Sweden. They were turned over to Norway, and were being held pending an investigation and possible indictment.

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