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Police arrest missing sex offender at hospital

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:54 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:15 p.m. CDT
Robert D. Gahlbeck, 58, formerly of the 1100 block of Golf Court in DeKalb, was charged Tuesday with failure to register as a sex offender.

SYCAMORE – After a daylong search, police have arrested Robert Gahlbeck, the sex offender accused of failing to give authorities a new address, court records show.

A warrant was issued Tuesday for Gahlbeck, 58, formerly of the 1100 block of Golf Court in DeKalb, who was charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Gahlbeck was arrested about 9 p.m. at Kishwaukee Hospital and taken to the DeKalb County Jail.

"He was picked up from the hospital from a medical call in DeKalb and transferred," said Sycamore police Lt. Darrell Johnson. Johnson did not have further details about the arrest at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Gahlbeck is currently serving a sentence of four years on probation  after pleading guilty July 11 to attempted child pornography. When he was released from DeKalb County Jail, he checked into Motel 6, 1860 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore, but checked out Thursday without telling police where he was moving, Johnson said.

State law requires sex offenders to notify authorities of an address change within three days. Gahlbeck had told police his plans were to move to DeKalb, which may have fallen through, Johnson said.

Police had been searching for Gahlbeck since Tuesday morning. They speculated he stayed in the DeKalb or Sycamore area.

In March 2013, Gahlbeck was accused of tying up a relative and her friend, both younger than 13 years old at the time, and placing duct tape over their mouths, court records show. Gahlbeck hung the girls by their bound wrists from hooks on his bedroom ceiling and photographed them wearing clothing, according to court records.

After a plea agreement was reached, Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert ordered Gahlbeck to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, undergo group and individual treatment and take periodic polygraph tests.

He is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with children younger than 18 or the two victims.

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