Crime Stoppers wraps up successful campaign targeting child predators

May 1, 2012 4:30:37 PM PDT
Investigators call them the worst of the worst -- child predators on the run from the law. Crime Stoppers just wrapped up a month-long safety campaign targeting those fugitives, and Eyewitness News has a sneak peak at the results.

This is the sixth year that Crime Stoppers has done this. A new component was added to the campaign and organizers say it's one of the reasons why it was such a huge success.

Targeting the Houston area's most wanted child predators.

"It's a unique collaboration in the nation to try and protect kids in our community," said Katherine Cabaniss with Crime Stoppers.

With some 1,600 in Harris County alone, Crime Stoppers calls it the largest child safety campaign in the organization's history.

"The amount of predators out there is alarming. Very scary, very scary. Especially when you have little kids, little ones; it definitely heightens your awareness," said parent Damon Barone.

"Within 24 hours of our kick-off press conference, the first fugitive was in custody," said Cabaniss.

Last year, more than 150 child predator fugitives were arrested during the month of April. This April, authorities captured 153 -- roughly the same the number -- and cleared 195 warrants. Eleven of those arrests were based on actual tips from people who visited the organization's web page where photos of more than 850 felons wanted for crimes against kids were featured.

"It's a testament to the partnerships that we have here in Harris County that are strong and productive and they keep our community safe," said Cabaniss.

As part of its campaign, Crime Stoppers partnered with local, state and federal law enforcement to hunt down these fugitives. Crime Stoppers also rolled out more than a dozen giant billboards across the city.

"We need to be informed. I think that's part of the problem. People want to be ignorant concerning these issues. I have five kids of my own, so I want to know if anyone in my neighborhood or anyone around could be a possible danger to my kids," said parent Frederick Banks.

Crime Stoppers will hold a news conference this Friday to go over the results. As always, cash rewards were offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.


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