Texas '10 Most Wanted' program sets new records
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas 10 Most Wanted Program set new records in 2013 in total captures, including sex offender apprehensions.
Last year, DPS and other agencies arrested 32 fugitives sought through the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program - 19 of whom were sex offenders. Additionally, $77,500 in rewards was paid for anonymous tips that resulted in arrests. Two arrested fugitives and one sex offender were extradited from Mexico.
"The Texas 10 Most Wanted Program has proven highly effective in getting offenders off the streets and back behind bars - thanks to the aggressive and proactive efforts between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Tips from the public are just as essential to the success of this program, and we are grateful for the public's efforts to protect our communities from these dangerous criminals and sexual predators."
The program's 32 total apprehensions during the past year broke the record of 30 arrests in 2012. The 19 captured sex offenders exceeded the previous record of eight also set in 2012. In addition, the $77,500 paid in rewards is the second-highest total payout in a year.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has declared January as Crime Stoppers Month in Texas. Crime Stoppers programs enable citizens to anonymously report on crimes for cash rewards, helping put criminals behind bars and assisting in crime reduction efforts. See the entire proclamation at http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/19235/.
"Texas Crime Stoppers has played an integral role in solving thousands of crimes and empowering citizens to take a stand against crime in their communities," said Perry. "The vigilance of civilian volunteers combined with the commitment by law enforcement involved in Crime Stoppers programs have made - and will continue to make - Texas a safer place to live."
Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted fugitives or sex offenders. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.
The program was revamped in 2010, and a Top 10 Sex Offender list was added. The captured fugitive archive can be viewed at http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/captured.aspx.
Information on the fugitives can be provide anonymously by:
• Calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
• Texting the letters DPS - followed by the tip - to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.
• Submiting a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the appropriate fugitive, and then clicking on the link under their picture.
•Submiting a Facebook tip at http://www.facebook.com/texas10mostwanted by clicking the "SUBMIT A TIP" link under the "About" section.
All calls, texts, e-mails and Facebook messages are anonymous.
DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Sex Offender lists. Current lists - with photos - are available on the DPS website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/texas10mostwanted/.
The public is reminded not to attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.