Story at a glance

  • The Associated Press reports Darko Desic, who worked as a handyman over the years, fell onto hard times due to the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown and had become jobless and homeless.
  • He turned himself in to police Sunday.
  • The 64-year-old reportedly told police he spent his time on the run at Sydney’s northern beaches in the Avalon suburb.

An Australian fugitive has surrendered to police after nearly three decades on the run due to COVID-19 lockdowns, according to The Associated Press

The news outlet reports Darko Desic escaped from a prison north of Sydney using a hacksaw blade and bolt cutters in 1992. He was serving a 3 1/2 year sentence for growing marijuana and feared he would be deported to the former Yugoslavia, where he was born. 


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While Desic managed to avoid authorities for nearly 30 years, his freedom came to an end when he turned himself in to Sydney authorities Sunday. 

The Associated Press reports Desic, who worked as a handyman over the years, fell onto hard times due to the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown and had become jobless and homeless. 

The 64-year-old reportedly told police he spent his time on the run at Sydney’s northern beaches in the Avalon suburb. 

Desic was denied bail in his first court appearance Tuesday and is charged with escaping lawful custody, which could get him a seven-year prison sentence. 

While it’s unclear what will happen to Desic, local media reports say authorities stopped searching for him in 2008 and granted him permanent residency in Australia.


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Published on Sep 16, 2021