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Prisoner accused of stealing police car arrested in Iowa

By Becky Purser   

A state prisoner - who is accused of seizing the opportunity of keys left in an unlocked, unmarked Houston County sheriff's car to gain his freedom Nov. 14 - is back behind bars.

Kenneth Dubroc Jr., 28, of Lawrenceville, was being held today in the Woodbury County jail in Sioux City, Iowa, said Peggy Chapman, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections.

He was arrested without incident outside a Sioux City residence at 5:50 p.m. Monday, Chapman said.

Dubroc had traveled to Sioux City where he'd broken into a vacant house that was for sale and had parked the stolen sheriff's car inside the garage, Chapman said.

He was arrested without incident by U.S. marshals when he came out of the Sioux City residence to meet his friend, Chapman said. The federal marshals were acting on a tip about Dubroc's whereabouts, she said.

The light green 2005 Crown Victoria was recovered. "It's in good shape. No damage. It's just got a few extra miles," Houston County sheriff's Capt. Robert Clark said.

Dubroc was charged with escape and theft by taking a motor vehicle in connection with the stolen police car and with burglary for breaking into the house in Sioux City, Chapman said.

Houston County Sheriff's Col. Billy Rape said Iowa authorities will have the opportunity to prosecute Dubroc on the burglary charge before he's returned to Georgia to face the charges here.

Dubroc drove off within site of the Houston County Sheriff's Office undetected by state corrections assigned to watch over the prisoner work detail cleaning up the county parking lot.

Houston County sheriff's Capt. Ricky Harlowe, 911 center director, saw that his car was missing after the corrections officer realized he was short an inmate on the detail. There was no weapon in the vehicle.

Rape said that Harlowe made a mistake in leaving the keys on the floorboard of the county-owned vehicle and faced disciplinary action. Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton said today that Harlowe will be suspended for three days without pay for the oversight.

Harlowe, who's been the 911 director for 10 years, had no prior disciplinary action in his record, Rape said. Harlowe, who has been with the sheriff's office for the last 23 years, declined to comment today.

 Macon Telegraph (http://www.macon.com/)

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