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Fugitive car discovered in Watauga PDF Print
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 09:08

A car that might have been stolen by an escaped Johnson County inmate was discovered in Watauga County near the Tennessee border just after 11 a.m. today on Rich Mountain Road.

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mugshot.jpg48-year-old Robert Randall DeLuca is alleged to have escaped the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Saturday by jumping over a fence. He was being held for charges that include manufacturing methamphetamine and assaulting two police officers.

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Johnson County Sheriff Mark Reece thinks DeLuca may still be in the Watauga area.

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His office has screened over 200 phone calls made by DeLuca at the jail, and many of those were to residents of Watauga County.

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The vehicle recovered was a Toyota pickup stolen approximately a mile from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Sunday night. Johnson County investigators are currently processing the vehicle for prints and evidence, but Reece says it's likely that DeLuca used the truck to escape the county.


Johnson County received a tip that the man may have been staying at the Hospitality House in Boone, but director Lynn Mason said criminal background checks with both Boone Police Department and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office are procedure when admitting new residents.

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Reece believes DeLuca will be caught.

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It's only a matter of time, Reece says. DeLuca has nowhere to go, and Reece says he's going to make a mistake. 

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--> DeLuca is 5’11” tall, 165 pounds with brown hair and a bald spot. His eyes are green and his mug shot is available at Anyone who sees DeLuca is asked to call 911.
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