Accidentally released killer back in custody

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He’s back in the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction and no longer Sherriff Tom Dart’s problem.


More than 48 hours after Steven Robbins was allowed to walk out the front entrance of the Cook County Jail, authorities discovered him hiding out in Kankakee. The sheriff’s department received more than 100 tips that led them across the area.  But they knew they had their man when they saw a suspicious character walking into a home in the 400 block of Fraser Avenue just before 11:00 Friday night.

“Someone just went into the house carrying groceries with a wig on that fit the description.”

Robbins was wearing and wig and seemingly very comfortable in making himself at home with a man, woman, and two young children. They didn’t know he was a wanted murderer on the loose.

Robbins’ cousin, Dart says, was a friend of the residents. That cousin told them someone was trying to beat him up and that he needed to hide for a little while.

“He didn’t put up a struggle he was sitting in front of the TV watching a program was quite shocked to see us,” Sherriff Dart said.

Robbins was sipping from a bottle of Seagram’s– the wig, he had taken off.

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Dart said “He was telling me you don’t have to put cuffs, I’m not resisting, I was explaining that not only that that is what we do but he doesn’t have a really high credibility level.”

Robbins knew he was getting away with murder when he left the jail Wednesday– after a court date on a warrant issued when he skipped bail on a 1992 case in Cook County.  The judge ordered him released on that case only; he was serving a 60 year sentence for murder at a prison in Michigan City Indiana.

Dart blames a clerical error for the embarrassing and dangerous release– his office uses a paper system in tracking the movements of 1,500 inmates a day.

“This was an anomaly to occur but nonetheless would I like to have it changed God yes so this could not occur again,” Dart said.

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