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Patrol vehicle stolen, crashed: Suspect in custody after theft

A Marquette County Sheriff's Office vehicle was stolen Wednesday morning. However, it was recovered in a ditch along Forestville Road in Marquette Township. (Photo courtesy of the MCSO)

MARQUETTE — A suspect was taken into custody Wednesday morning after driving off with a Marquette County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle.

According to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office, Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt drove a marked Chevrolet Silverado patrol vehicle to a scheduled radio appearance on WKQS-Sunny 101.9 FM early Wednesday.

Upon conclusion of the interview, Zyburt exited the radio station and to his surprise, discovered his truck was missing from the parking lot.

Zyburt contacted his road lieutenant at first to ask where the vehicle had been moved, thinking his deputies were playing a practical joke on him. In the middle of the conversation with the road lieutenant, the sheriff’s office received word from central dispatch that a caller had reported a marked police vehicle in the ditch on Forestville Road in Marquette Township.

Deputies arrived at the location and deployed the office’s new K-9 Deja.

The suspect was located by Deja in a restroom at the Forestville boat launch within 10 minutes, according to the post. The suspect was then taken into custody and charged with unlawful driving away of an automobile, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, police said.

Zyburt’s main set of keys were on his belt, but he was unaware there was an extra set of keys inside the patrol vehicle at the time, according to the Facebook post.

It’s unknown how the suspect gained entry into the vehicle, the post stated, as Zyburt recalled locking the doors before entering the radio station.

The sheriff’s office wants to use this incident as a lesson to the public.

“If it can happen to the sheriff, it can happen to you; lock your vehicles,” the post reads.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.

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