For those laying low, on the lam from the law in Lycoming County, Saturday likely will be a bad day. Lycoming County's fourth annual Most Wanted list will be printed in the Sun-Gazette that morning.
Information on 183 wanted persons will be printed, with mugshots, in this year's edition.
"We are pleased to once again partner with local law enforcement to help apprehend our area's most wanted fugitives. The Sun-Gazette, as the region's newspaper of record, is perfectly suited to provide this service," said Bernard A. Oravec, Sun-Gazette publisher. "This publication is very successful every year, thanks to our loyal and dedicated readers who do what they know is best for their neighborhoods."
"Each year it's a win-win for everybody, for Lycoming County getting these fugitives, a win-win for children whose fathers are behind in child support," Detective William Weber said. "We usually end up getting more than half (of the fugitives) within the first two months of publication of the section."
Detectives will answer the phones on Saturday and Sunday, and there will be at least four sheriff's deputies serving warrants over the weekend, according to Weber. The extra personnel are needed because the initial response rate to the local publication is so high.
"We have found, over the years, that many fugitives will turn themselves in within hours of publication," Oravec said. "They know that our readers will notify law enforcement and that running is no longer an option."
"The ones we like to get the most of are the ones way behind in child support, and hold the deadbeat fathers accountable," Weber said. "It's also nice to get fugitive felons off the street."
"Without law enforcement's cooperative partnership with the Sun-Gazette, many of the most wanted fugitives would escape justice," Oravec said. "We are aware of how powerful the reach of our newspaper is and want to do our part to make Williamsport a safer community."