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Texas 'Most Wanted' marks 20th anniversary


On Saturday, March 9, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas 10 Most Wanted Program celebrated 20 years of protecting the public through the apprehension of violent criminals and sexual predators.
"Since its inception, the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program has proven to be a proactive and vital effort between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to protect Texas communities," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Thanks to the vigilant work of law enforcement agencies and the public, we've been able to get some of the state's most dangerous offenders off the streets over the last two decades."
Law enforcement officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Office of the Governor's Texas Crime Stoppers Program, identify select fugitives and wanted sex offenders who pose a significant threat to public safety to add to the list. Individuals who provide information leading to the arrest of one of these fugitives or sex offenders can earn a cash reward in the amount designated for each criminal. Texas Crime Stoppers tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.
"The success of the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program is proof that public involvement in reporting fugitive criminals is key to building safer communities," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry. "I applaud the thousands of Texans who have contacted Crime Stoppers through the years to report suspected fugitives, and urge all Texans to remain vigilant and do their part to help keep these offenders off our streets."
Created in 1993, the program was later revamped and expanded in 2010, adding the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list. In 2012, the program achieved new records in total apprehensions, gang member apprehensions and sex offender apprehensions with a total of 30 arrests and $93,000 in rewards paid by the Texas Crime Stoppers Program. So far this year, eight fugitives and sex offenders on the Most Wanted lists have been captured and $10,000 has been paid to tipsters. More than 210 fugitives featured as part of the program have been arrested since 1993.
Just as technology has advanced, the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program has also evolved, including the way in which DPS communicates with the public. Today, anyone with information can provide anonymous tips via text message, the DPS website, Facebook or by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline.
Each month, one offender from the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program is featured in hopes the higher reward money from the Governor's Criminal Justice Division will generate additional tips. The higher reward amount will only be paid if the tip comes in the same month the fugitive is featured.
"Like" the Most Wanted program on Facebook and get instant notifications when fugitives are added to the list or captured at https://www.facebook.com/texas10mostwanted.
The current list of Texas 10 Most wanted - with photos - are available at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/wanted/.
The captured fugitive archive can be viewed at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/Texas10MostWanted/captured.aspx.