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Bond reduction hearing delayed for ex-deputy charged with armed robbery, vehicle theft in Will County

Lowell 'Max' Ambler's bond is set at $5 million in Will County

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A Mendota man and former Lasalle County Sheriff's deputy who was involved in an October manhunt that passed through Will County had his bond reduction hearing delayed Tuesday.[]

JOLIET – A Mendota man and former LaSalle County Sheriff’s deputy who was involved in an October manhunt that passed through Will County had his bond reduction hearing delayed Tuesday.

Lowell “Max” Ambler, 46, was set to have a bond reduction hearing Tuesday in Will County, but it was continued until Dec. 18, Will County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Chuck Pelkie said.

Ambler’s bond is set at $5 million in Will County, and he currently is being held in the Lee County Jail in Dixon on $1 million bond. If convicted of the most serious charge in Will County, Ambler faces six to 30 years in prison.

The Will County charges stem from Ambler allegedly carjacking a Hyundai Santa Fe in Plainfield in early October. Ambler also faces home invasion and kidnapping charges in Lee County.

Ambler is a former Earlville police officer, LaSalle County Sheriff’s deputy and K-9 handler. He started his career as a LaSalle County deputy July 24, 2000, according to the sheriff’s office, and he resigned June 15, 2015.

Ambler’s home invasion and kidnapping case involves his allegedly entering a home in Compton, where his ex-girlfriend’s daughter was babysitting and holding the girl against her will. He was arrested Sept. 15. He posted $25,000 bail Sept. 20, Lee County Court records show.

While out on bond, Ambler violated the terms of his release by sending six text messages and six Snapchat messages to the mother of his victim, court records show. Ambler had active arrest warrants in Lee and LaSalle counties for violating the conditions of his bail bond and violating a protective order.

Before Ambler entered Will County, Plainfield police received a state police emergency response message indicating he had stolen a corn-hauling semitrailer and might be headed to Plainfield, where the victim and her mother were staying. Ambler was believed to be armed with a .45-caliber handgun and considered dangerous, police said.

Local schools, including Plainfield North High School, were placed on soft lockdowns and a reverse 911 alert of that area was made so residents could take shelter.

Plainfield police officers found the stolen semitrailer abandoned on Normantown Road north of 119th Street.

After ditching the semitrailer, a pistol-wielding Ambler stole the Santa Fe, police said.

The stolen Hyundai was found in woods near a cemetery south of Ambler’s hometown of Earlville.

Ambler peacefully surrendered the day after the carjacking and has been in the jail since.

• Sauk Valley Media contributed to this report.