“After eight years on the run, this suspect chose Polk County as a wrong place to hide,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. "The US Marshals were instrumental in locating the suspect and we will continue to work together in cases like this.”
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives, working with the US Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, arrested Timothy A. Fritch, a fugitive from justice for the past 8 years.
In July of 2012, the US Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force received a lead from members of the US Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force regarding 66-year-old Timothy A Fritch DOB 04-11-1946, 420 Coleman Rd in Winter Haven Florida.
Fritch was convicted in San Bernardino County California of Molestation of a Minor in 1986. As part of his sentence, he was required to register as a Sexual Offender, and was also later allowed out of the California prison system on parole. He violated his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest on January 28, 2004. He was listed as an absconder and Fritch has been a fugitive from justice for the past eight years.
Through the investigation, PCSO detectives were able to determine Fritch had been living in the Winter Haven area for less than one year. Each time a location was uncovered, it was learned Fritch had given fake addresses, phone numbers, and identities in an attempt to avoid detection.
Detectives learned of his whereabouts on Friday, September 28, 2012. Detectives were waiting at the location and Fitch was taken into custody without incident.
After being taken into custody, Fritch refused to speak and feigned a medical condition. Fritch was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and was later booked into the Hillsborough County Jail after medical clearance.
"This suspect was granted parole in California without completing his full sentence. This is a problem we don't see in Florida," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "Timothy Fritch, a convicted sexual offender, has been an absonder from the California prison system for the past 8 years. We praise the US Marshals who are the best at tracking down criminals across the US."
Fitch faces California VOP charges. The investigation is on-going; additional charges are expected.