Escaped inmate working at Stouts Fire charged with car theft

Update (8/13)The inmate who walked away from a firefighting camp at the Stouts Fire over the weekend is being charged with more than escaping from custody.

Medford Police says 26-year-old Kenneth Curtis Polchowski was arrested at the Railroad Park in Medford on Wednesday night when an officer noticed Polchowski with a pair of wildland fire boots.

Polchowski was arrested and questioned about a stolen car out of Canyonville.

“The fact that it was stolen out of Canyonville certainly made us think, you know what if this could be Mr. Polchowski. He left the Stouts Fire found this vehicle and got out of the area, which is what we think happened,” said Medford Police Lieutenant, Mike Budreau.

The 1977 pick-up truck was found abandoned in Central Point.

Polchowski is charged with car theft, false information for lying to an officer and the warrant for his parole violation.

Update (9:21pm): Medford Police posted on their Facebook page that they located and arrested Kenneth Polchowski near the Railroad Park in Medford around 9pm Tuesday evening.

NEAR CANYONVILLE, ORE. — Oregon State Police are looking for an inmate who walked away from his fire crew at the Stouts Fire Sunday morning.

Kenneth Curtis Polchowski was discovered missing by Department of Corrections staff around 6am Sunday.

Polchowski is described as a 26 years old white male. 5’10” and 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Polchowski was last seen wearing blue jeans with the word ‘inmate’ and the DOC logo stenciled on the knee in orange, and a blue t-shirt with the word ‘inmate’ and the DOC logo stenciled in orange on the front and back.

He was in custody on charges of theft, burglary, and identity theft. He earliest release was set for October 7, 2017.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or OSP at 1-800-452-7888.

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