The 2012 edition of "Lycoming County's Most Wanted" special section will appear in Saturday's Sun-Gazette. The highly popular publication, which is in its third year, is a cooperative effort with local law enforcement officials, according to Bernard A. Oravec, Sun-Gazette publisher.
Since its inception, "Lycoming County's Most Wanted" has led to the apprehension of hundreds of fugitives. Saturday's edition will include hundreds of full-color mug shots and last known addresses of wanted persons. Those included in the listings are wanted for various crimes, including failure to pay court costs and fees and parole and probation violations.
An online version will appear on www.sungazette.com on May 7.
"The Sun-Gazette is proud to again partner with local law enforcement officials in an effort to round up Lycoming County's most wanted fugitives," said Oravec.
He added, "as the oldest and most respected community newspaper in the area, we know that placing the full weight of our daily readership and online power behind this effort will produce results. Over 75,000 people who care about our community read the printed Sun-Gazette every day. Our readers are very active and aware of what is going on in their neighborhoods. This is their opportunity to assist law enforcement in a meaningful way."
Lycoming County Detective William Weber said the list is a valuable tool in apprehending area fugitives.
"Tens of thousands of dollars in fines and costs have been collected" since the first publication, Weber said.
"We will also post this section online, one week after publication," added Oravec. "Our website, sungazette.com, is the most visited local website in Lycoming County. Last month we received over two million page views by 146,000 unique visitors, visiting our site nearly 447,000 times.
"Our unique ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people every month, increases the success rate of capturing these fugitives.
"In the past, we have even had listed fugitives call the newspaper office to turn themselves in, before being directed to the Sheriff's office.
"When local law enforcement first came to us with this idea, I knew we could make a difference. It was a natural partnership and the right thing to do."