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Search for fugitive leads to two other arrests, escapee still at large | Crime

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Search for fugitive leads to two other arrests, escapee still at large
Crime
Search for fugitive leads to two other arrests, escapee still at large

MALVERN, Ark. (KTHV) -- Hot Spring County area law enforcement agencies had a busy day Wednesday.

In late February of this year, Donald Todd Brown, 43, was sentenced to 72 months in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on drug related charges.  He was released from jail while waiting for prison bed space but was required to wear an ankle monitoring device and to report to the county jail on a regular basis. 

Wednesday morning bed space became available but Brown did not report as required.  As area law enforcement officers began their search for him, the ankle bracelet was cut at about 1:30 pm, sending an alarm. Brown then simply disappeared.  The bracelet was later found near the Garland County industrial park on Highway 270.

At 3 pm, as area law enforcement continued their search for Brown, the Rockport Police Department tried to stop a vehicle that had no license plate displayed.  That vehicle refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit began.

"The vehicle being chased eventually wrecked in the Magnet Cove area and the driver ran into the woods," said Sheriff Chad Ledbetter.  The location where the car wrecked was only a few hundred yards from where Brown had once lived and had previously been hidden from law enforcement by other people.  "Naturally, we thought the driver might have been Brown, so we concentrated our search efforts there."

It was later that investigators determined that the person who had fled in the car was not Brown.  "The person in the car being chased by Rockport officers was a 17-year-old boy who is currently out on bond for felony offenses that occurred in January of this year," said Ledbetter.  Investigators said this morning that the boy later turned himself in.  At the time of the press release, the final outcome of the vehicle pursuit had not been reached.

While the search related to the pursuit was ongoing, deputies received a report of a theft in progress in the Social Hill area of the county.  The home owner managed to locate the suspect driving away from the scene and followed him until deputies caught up with them on I-30 near the 88 mile marker.

"Investigators believe this man is responsible for a series of thefts and burglaries in the county," said the sheriff.  Deputies found property in the man's truck that had been stolen several days earlier and property stolen Wednesday from the same residence.  "This guy returned to the scene of a previous theft, tried to steal more property and got caught."  Investigators are not releasing any other information.

As for Brown, area law enforcement agencies are continuing their search for him.  "We are getting solid information from the public, but have not yet caught up with him.  We believe he is getting help hiding from us and if we find that is true, anyone helping him will be charged.  But we do not believe he is dangerous," said Ledbetter.  "Donald Brown simply doesn’t want to go to prison."

(Source: Hot Spring County Sheriff's Department press release)

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