Chicago sheriff baits fugitives with holiday ruse

More than 200 fugitives caught in sting
December 22, 2008 6:43:10 AM PST
The Cook County Sheriff's Department rounded up more than 200 fugitives in a holiday-related sting.The department sent letters to the offenders saying they had been chosen to take part in a holiday shopping survey. In exchange for participating, the fugitives could receive a gift card worth hundreds of dollars. When the offenders arrived at a Chicago hotel to take the survey, they were taken into custody.

Sheriff Tom Dart says the fugitives were wanted on a variety of charges, including battery to a police officer and failure to pay child support.

Officers also seized guns and drugs during the sting.

Dart says the department saved thousands of dollars in manpower.

"The other part of it, too, is going into the houses, you can tell by looking at these AK-47s, it's particularly dangerous. When they're coming for a party and to get money and we're feeding them with donuts, they usually don't bring their guns with them," Dart said.

Some offenders called and said they would take part in the survey but did not show up. Officers then went to their homes and arrested those people.


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