A Michigan sex offender was on the lam for 4 years. It turns out, he was painting in the Keys

A convicted sex offender and rapist who cut off his GPS monitoring device and absconded from parole in Port Huron, Michigan, almost four years ago was caught in the Florida Keys Thursday.

Timothy Colmenero, 59, served five years in prison for sexual assault sexual assault on a relative and was released on parole in January 2015, according to Michigan court records.

Part of his parole was wearing the monitoring device, which he cut off before leaving Michigan in March 2015. His family told investigators he was likely heading for Mexico, Deputy U.S. Marshal Stephen Cookland said Friday.

“His dad told us that he needed money and may be going to Mexico,” Cookland said.

Colmenero first left Port Huron on his motorcycle, which was found in Detroit, about an hour south of his hometown, news station WXYZ reported.

He hadn’t been seen since — until his arrest this week.

“We had a little bit of a trail for him in the beginning when he first left, but it went cold,” Cookland said. “We had no idea where he went.”

He was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Thursday night after being pulled over in the Middle Florida Keys city of Marathon for an obscured license plate on the blue Mazda 3 he was driving around 7:30 p.m., according to Deputy Caleb Pietri’s report. He had no identification on him and gave a false name to Pietri, as well as another man’s Social Security number.

Deputies had to take him to the nearby U.S. Border Patrol station to see if his fingerprints matched any in the federal database. An agent quickly identified him as Timothy Alma Colmenero, and found out that he was a registered sexual offender who broke parole.

He had been working as a painter in Marathon for about a year and a half, his boss told deputies, according to Pietri’s report. Colmenero had been living in an apartment on 66th Street in Marathon, but his boss told deputies he was most recently sleeping in his car.

His boss gave deputies a pay stub. The Social Security number Colmenero provided belonged to another man.

Deputies arrested Colmenero on three felonies related to not registering as a sex offender when he moved to Florida, as well as a misdemeanor fraud charge for giving them a bogus name.

Should the State Attorney’s Office successfully prosecute him, he will have to serve whatever sentence he is given in Florida and then be extradited to Michigan to face charges of cutting off his GPS device, violating his parole and not following sex offender registration laws in that state, Cookland said.