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Inmate escapes work detail, later recaptured in Hall County

LILBURN - A Gwinnett County inmate who allegedly stole a truck and escaped from a work detail was recaptured Friday morning in Hall County.

Authorities tracked 31-year-old Roger Thomas Dean to Flowery Branch, where he was arrested at 5:30 a.m. using a pay phone in a Publix shopping center, according to Stacey Kelley, spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.

"We had several tips and with a thorough investigation we were able to track him to that location," Kelley said.

Dean was returned to the Gwinnett County Detention Center on Friday to face charges of escape and theft of a motor vehicle.

Dean was serving time for violating his probation when he was "loaned out" to the Lilburn Police Department on Thursday for a work detail, said department spokesman Sgt. Tyler Thomas. His initial charges are burglary and obstruction of law enforcement.

Police noticed that Dean was missing about 2 p.m. - about the same time that a Lilburn city employee noticed his personal vehicle had been stolen.

The employee's white 1992 GMC truck had been parked near the city maintenance shop for only a few minutes, Thomas said.

Police believe Dean boosted the truck and fled to Snellville, where he stole another car. He later abandoned the second vehicle in Buford. Investigators are not sure how he made it to Flowery Branch, Kelley said.