Citizen Tip Leads to Arrest of Escapee

NORFOLK - A tip from a citizen helped Norfolk Police arrest an escapee from the Thurston County Jail on Thursday. Police Captain Michael Bauer says the tip came in about 4:30 Thursday that 39-year-old Mark Kuehn was seen in the area of the 300 block of South Hickory in Norfolk. Officers saturated the area, interviewed residents and searched an apartment. Bauer says leads from citizens directed officers to 300 East Phillip, where Kuehn was found hiding in an apartment stairwell. He was taken into custody without incident at 5:06. Bauer says Kuehn is also a suspect in the theft of a farm grain truck stolen from Beemer sometime Thursday afternoon. The truck was recovered at 721 East Norfolk Avenue at 5:22 p.m. Thursday. Kuehn was being held in the Thurston County Jail after being convicted of two counts of felony theft in Stanton County.  He faces an additional sentence for being an habitual criminal. Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger says Kuehn has an extensive criminal history and has been a fugitive in the past. Kuehn was convicted of a sexual offense in Stanton County in 2000 and is listed on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. Thursday County Sheriff Shelly Perez says Kuehn pulled a window air-conditioning unit out of his cell window in the Thurston County Jail early Wednesday morning, and squeezed between two metal bars. The jail is just a few blocks from the Pender Public Schools, so they were locked down; and schools in nearby Wayne were also locked down following Kuehn’s escape. After his arrest Thursday, Kuehn was held in the Norfolk City Jail and turned over to the custody of the Stanton County Sheriff’s Office.