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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

Seneca County jail inmate flees while on work crew

TIFFIN An inmate from the Seneca County jail remained at large yesterday after leaving a work crew and apparently stealing a county vehicle.

Michael Martin, 19, of Tiffin was working at the county maintenance garage on Madison Street Monday afternoon when he asked a supervisor if he could use a restroom. When Mr. Martin didn t return after several minutes, the supervisor went looking for him and found that a 1991 Jeep Cherokee owned by the county commissioners was missing from the garage.

According to the Seneca County Sheriff s Department, Mr. Martin was serving a 360-day term for numerous misdemeanor convictions, including driving under suspension, retaining stolen property, and underage drinking. Since the incident Monday, he also has been charged with a felony count of escape.

Sheriff Tom Steyer said the incident is the first time an inmate has escaped during a work program.

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