30 ‘Most Wanted’ fugitives captured

Not even two weeks since the fifth volume of Lycoming County’s Most Wanted ran in the Sun-Gazette, about 30 fugitives either have turned themselves in or were apprehended by law enforcement, according to Chief County Detective William Weber.

Weber expects half of the fugitives – out of a total of about 170 – to be in police custody by the end of the summer.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Weber said, “especially for the community.”

The first Most Wanted list ran in 2010 and has been instrumental in apprehending fugitives, most of whom are wanted for their failure to pay child support, though many offenders face drug or assault charges, Weber said.

The list includes headshots of the offenders and the alleged crimes for which they are wanted.

The county sheriff’s office, working in conjunction with U.S. Marshals Service, prioritizes violent offenders and those who violate Megan’s Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to register information about themselves that can be accessed by the public, according to Weber. He said the partnership allows local authorities to take advantage of federal resources.

Tips from outside sources also are a big help to authorities, according to Weber, who said the county has received about 50 to 60 tips in the form of phone calls since the end of May.

“We get tips from people of all walks of his life,” he said, adding that people working in social services, such as CareerLink or welfare services, often provide tips, as they interact with offenders looking for work.

One fugitive was apprehended at about 10 a.m. the day the most recent list ran, Weber said.

A juvenile who was wanted on aggravated assault charges had been on the run since March of 2013 when she did not show up for her court date, according to Weber and an affidavit filed by city police.

She allegedly stabbed a person at Rural Avenue and Center Street on Jan. 13, 2013, the affidavit said.

She was picked up on a warrant in the 600 block of Second Street last month. At the time and place of her arrest, Weber said, police officers working the case witnessed pedestrians in the area reading the Most Wanted list.

“The Sun-Gazette is again pleased to support state and local law enforcement in efforts to bring our area’s most wanted fugitives to justice,” Sun-Gazette Publisher Bernard A. Oravec said. “This special section is effective every time it is published.”