Authorities track down ticket violators

March 6, 2010 6:43:04 PM PST
Today was the launch of this year's effort by Harris County to track down people with outstanding warrants and get them to pay up. The folks who owe this money can really benefit from coming forward now. It's all a part of the 2010 "Great Texas Warrant Roundup." Harris County courts report more than 200,000 outstanding warrants. The county also says there's $16 million in outstanding fines.

It's a greeting no one wants to hear.

"Hello sir, my name is Joe Citron. I'm a deputy with Precinct 6," said Deputy Citron at the home of someone with an outstanding warrant.

Precinct 6 deputy constables say it's far better than being stopped by an officer and taken to jail.

"You're gonna be put in handcuffs and people around you are going to see that and you're going down to Harris County," he said.

The crackdown is designed to track down people with outstanding warrants, allow them to pay their fines and walk away.

"It's a chance for him to come down to the precinct and see if we can work something out with his warrants. He's not going to go to jail right now or anything," said Deputy Citron.

At the house they went to, they didn't find who they're looking for, but they did find his brother.

"What do you think about this effort by the constables to give people a chance to make it right before they face going to jail?" we asked the brother.

"Well as long as it's not me. Better him than me, but yeah I guess it's good, pretty good," said George Suniga, whose brother has warrants.

At another house, an old address, the man with warrants is not a tenant anymore. So the county won't get his cash, but with some 200,000 outstanding warrants, deputy constables are trying to put a dent in the millions owed to Harris County alone. And if you think there's no way you might have one of these warrants, just listen to what they are for.

"It ranges from failure to attend school, appear in court, no insurance," said Sgt. Julio Banda with the Precinct 6 Constable's Office.

"He had one for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk," said Deputy Citron said of another person with an outstanding warrant.

People can resolve their warrant by calling 713-837-0311, by mail at P.O. Box 4996, Houston, Texas, 77210 or online at www.texasonline.com.


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