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Fugitive captured at Billie Creek campground

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

George Alexander
A Putnam County fugitive turned himself in to Parke County authorities Monday night after several days on the run.

George Alexander, 60, Greencastle, was scheduled to appear in Putnam Superior Court at 2 p.m. Tuesday to face two D felony charges of misappropriation of funds.

Alexander was arrested late Monday near Billie Creek Village after telling a Rockville police officer that he was wanted on a warrant in Putnam County, and that he was experiencing a diabetic problem and needed medical help. He was taken to West Central Community Hospital in Clinton for treatment, and was transported to the Parke County Jail to await arraignment in Putnam County court.

"The hunt is over," Det. Scott Stockton of the Indiana State Police's white collar crime division said Monday night. Federal marshals were scheduled to intensify the hunt Tuesday, but that effort was called off once Alexander was arrested.

The former ombudsman for the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Alexander was wanted on two felony counts of misappropriation of funds. A recent audit of the sheriff's department indicates Alexander allegedly deposited about $45,000 from federal grants into his personal bank account. The funds were intended for equipment and personnel needs of the sheriff's department. An investigation by the Indiana State Police is also looking into other cash withdrawals from the federal grant account amounting to an additional $15,000.

Alexander's arrest occurred after Rockville Officer John VanHook responded to the Billie Creek Village Campground to unlock a car. While he was there, Officer VanHook was approached by Alexander, who indicated he was having a diabetic problem.

Stockton said Alexander admitted he was wanted on a Putnam County warrant, and also told VanHook that he was armed and had considered harming himself.

His arrest ended a four-day search that began after police served a warrant Thursday morning at Alexander's Crescent Drive home, but did not find him there. The car Alexander was driving, a vehicle borrowed from Andy Mohr Chevrolet, was later found at a Plainfield hotel, where the fugitive had checked in under an assumed name. Police waited at the hotel, but Alexander did not return to the room or his car.

Stockton said the investigation will now turn toward anyone who might have assisted Alexander in his flight, such as the owner of the car the fugitive was using when arrested in Parke County. A vehicle at the campground was impounded, he said, but it was uncertain Tuesday morning who owned that vehicle.

Alexander was alone at the campground at the time of his arrest.

Other ISP officers have also joined the investigation.

"There are other persons, other areas of financial crimes we are looking into," Stockton said. "It's going to get worse."

He indicated that unauthorized credit card use and cash withdrawals will be examined.

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