Convicted sex offender Gary Lee Ebersole caught after cutting off his ankle monitor and running

Posted at 3:35 AM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 13:35:54-04

A convicted sex offender who cut off his ankle monitor was caught and arrested Thursday morning.

The Highlands County Sheriff's Office reports Gary Lee Ebersole cut off his ankle monitor on Monday morning just before deputies could arrest him for violating probation.

Deputy Wayne Gunn and his bloodhound led the track which covered more than a mile through a wooded area. They chased Ebersole into a patch of palmettos and a patrol dog caught him by the leg.

“This was outstanding teamwork,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “The Special Victims Unit has been relentless the last three days in their pursuit of this fugitive. Once they found out where he was hiding, it was just a matter of time before we caught him. The K-9 units  did an excellent job of tracking him through some tough terrain and running him down."

Ebersole will face probation charges and charges of failure to report vacating his permanent residence, tampering with an electronic monitoring device, and grand theft of an ankle monitor. 

Prior to that, authorities said the 46-year-old Ebersole was last seen around Monday around 9:30 a.m. at the Citgo at Golfview and U.S. 27 in Sebring.

Ebersole is 5'10" tall and weighs 160 pounds.

His home is in Lorida in eastern Highlands County.

Ebersole served more than seven years in state prison for Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a victim under the age of 16. He also spent more than five years in prison for Grand Theft.