Ronald Tackman, New York ‘Celebrity' Escape Artist, Racks Up 28 More Years In Court

07/22/2011 01:08 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2011

A career criminal known for his dramatic escape attempts was sentenced to 28 more years behind bars on Thursday.

Ronald Tackman, a convicted New York robber and notorious prison-breaker famously told police he held up stores like Dunkin' Donuts just blocks from home because he was "lazy," The New York Post reported. But the Upper East Side stick-up artist was no slouch when it came to his elaborate escapes.

Tackman last gave law enforcement the slip in 2009, when he was transported to court from Riker's Island wearing a three-piece suit but no metal bracelets. The uncuffed criminal strolled out after noticing the door to the 12th floor holding cell was open. He found his way to the lobby and was shown the door by an officer who mistook him for a lawyer, The Post notes.

After making a brief but memorable appearance at the Tony Astor trial, he headed for his 81-year-old mother's uptown apartment, doffed his suit, and disappeared. He was nabbed getting off a city bus 36 hours later, on his 56th birthday, according to The New York Daily News.

The paper reported he was carrying "crack cocaine and a bag with wigs, costume makeup, phony beards and mustaches, self-tanner, a bogus passport and four gun-shaped cigarette lighters."

The Post reported that corrections officers had neglected to flag Tackman as an escape risk, despite his previous creative bids for freedom.

In April of 1985, the year he was first convicted on a violent robbery charge, he took a guard hostage using a gun he'd carved out of soap while en route to a facility in upstate New York.

In September of that year, he tried to shoot his way out of another transport van using "a rubber band-powered zip gun fashioned out of metal tubing and a comb," The Daily News reported. Despite his best efforts, Tackman stayed in prison until 2006.

Almost immediately, he was back to his old bad habits.

Tackman brought dramatic flare to his otherwise ho-hum heists, donning an array of hats and even a prosthetic nose to hold up neighborhood stores, according to the tabloid. He was known to use a silver, gun-shaped cigarette lighter or a fake gun in his holdups.

He was convicted in a string of robberies from 2007 to 2008, and pleaded guilty to the 2009 escape.