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Bailed man found after home detention monitoring failure

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An alleged offender on the run after the failure of South Australia’s electronic monitoring system has been arrested.

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Robert Carl Stehr, who was granted home detention bail last week on an aggravated theft charge, was detained in Gawler this morning.

The 43-year-old is being interviewed by police and is expected to be charged with a breach of bail offence.

Stehr went missing after a Telstra hardware failure caused a breakdown of the state’s monitoring system.

Some 774 people wearing electronic ankle bracelets and who were on parole, bail, or serving home detention could not be electronically tracked for about 24 hours from early Friday morning.

The shutdown followed a similar but shorter failure in May, prompting the Opposition to ask what action was taken by the Government after that incident.

Premier Steven Marshall said the latest problem was unacceptable and is demanding answers from Telstra after announcing an inquiry.

SA Department for Correctional Services head David Brown noted the Telstra hardware failure only affected monitoring services in SA.

Correctional Services Minister Corey Wingard said the State Government wanted to know why only SA’s platform was affected.

“That is something that we just do not accept from Telstra and we will be dealing with them on that this week,” he said.

The breakdown was first detected at about 8am on Friday when the ankle bracelets failed to “call into” the system as they are designed to do.

That prompted police and corrections staff to resort to phone and physical checks during which they discovered Stehr could not be located.

After being granted bail on Thursday he was believed to have caught a bus from Mount Gambier to Adelaide on Friday but failed to report to his nominated address.

The system wasn’t restored until Saturday.

Telstra said the problem was “complex” and involved “multiple providers across a number of locations”.

A spokesman said the disruption was caused by “an issue in a supplier’s network which resulted in intermittent authentication of devices”.

“Our team worked through the night on Friday to restore services,” he said.

“We place the highest priority on the reliability of the underlying connectivity used to provide the service and Telstra will explore options with the Department of Correctional Services on how to add further resilience to the service.”

– with AAP

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