CHICAGO (CBS) — A former LaSalle County sheriff’s deputy sought for a string of crimes, including kidnapping, was captured Thursday morning in Earlville.
Lowell “Max” Ambler surrendered peacefully around 8:45 a.m. Thursday, after entering a friend’s home in Earlville more than an hour earlier. After he showed up, police surrounded the house and began negotiating with him. He let two people in the home go out unharmed before he surrendered.
Several armed officers approached him with guns drawn, handcuffed him, and took him to a waiting squad car. He was expected to be charged with armed carjacking and other offenses in connection to his attempted getaway.
Neighbor Jennifer Burgard said watching the manhunt come to a dramatic end next door was quite shocking.
“What if he starts shooting? You know, if he shoots this direction, I’m only two homes down, and I’m not familiar, so you think about how far the bullets can go and everything,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Okay, Lord, I ask you to protect us all.”
Burgard is a teacher at a school that was closed Thursday due to the manhunt.
More than 80 police officers were involved in the search for Ambler, 46, after he was spotted camping Wednesday afternoon in rural LaSalle County, with a stolen car parked nearby, according to LaSalle County Sheriff Thomas Templeton.
Ambler, of Mendota, was out on bond and facing charges of aggravated kidnapping and home invasion. An arrest warrant was issued Monday for violating the conditions of his bond.
Police in southwest suburban Plainfield said Ambler was likely the suspect who carjacked a resident at gunpoint Wednesday morning. The department previously released a bulletin identifying him as a wanted fugitive.
Templeton said Ambler has dealt with many family issues before his recent spiral.
Ambler – a hunter familiar with the rural area where he was last seen – spent about 15 years as a deputy with the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department, Templeton said.