Las Vegas Police Arrest Accused Escaped Convict After 31 Years

Police arrested a 61-year-old convicted armed robber who they say was hiding in plain sight in Nevada after escaping from prison in Florida in 1976.

"His family had no idea who he was," police Sgt. Dave Stansbury said of the man who called himself David Free, but who police say was Jack Hazen.

"He was living the life of a good, common citizen," Stansbury said. "They didn't know about his history."

Stansbury said Hazen escaped in 1976 while serving a seven-year
prison sentence in Florida, and adopted a new identity.

Police said he lived in southern Nevada for at least 23 years - working in construction, getting married and starting a family - before his arrest Wednesday by detectives from a regional criminal apprehension team who received a tip about his background.

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-02-01-08 1457EST

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