Oakdale prison guard accused of posing as officer, robbing woman

Suspect arrested on Dubuque County robbery warrant

Published: February 21 2014 | 1:07 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:59 am in
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The Linn County Sheriff's Office said the Iowa Medical and Classification Center inmate arrested Thursday for robbery is also the man who robbed a woman at gunpoint last month while impersonating a police officer.

On Jan. 30, a woman reported to the Linn County Sheriff's Office that she was pulled over on Highway 13 south of Central City by what she thought was a law enforcement officer in an unmarked squad car. A man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a ski mask approached the car, pulled what appeared to be a gun on the woman and demanded money. The woman complied with his demands and sped away from the suspect.

On Thursday, a joint investigation between the Linn and Dubuque county sheriff's offices resulted in the arrest of 40-year-old John M. Woerdehoff, of Cedar Rapids, on a Dubuque County warrant for first-degree robbery. Deputies executed a warrant at Woerdehoff's home at 4624 Spring Meadow Place NE connecting him to a robbery in Cascade. According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, investigators also seized items that connected him to the Jan. 30 robbery in Linn County.

Woerdehoff works as a prison guard at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale, which is just north of Coralville.

According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, Woerdehoff is currently in custody at the Dubuque County Jail. Charges of robbery and impersonating a law enforcement officer in Linn County are pending.

The incident remains under investigation.

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