County Police Seeking Thousands of Wanted Felons
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CLAYTON, MO–(KMOX)–St. Louis County Police are seeking to arrest 3,700 people on outstanding felony warrants — this coming to light after a wanted felon allegedly shot another man and then himself last week at a downtown St. Louis college.
“Every police department wishes it had the staffing just to have a dedicated group of individuals and that’s all they do is go out and serve warrants,” said county Police Chief Tim Fitch.
Last week, 34-year old Sean Johnson was accused of shooting a financial aid adviser at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts on Washington Avenue, then shooting himself. Both men survived . In May 2012, St. Louis County issued an arrest warrant for Johnson after he reportedly violated his 2011 probation for second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
Fitch says having 3,700 wanted felons on the street presents a constant possibility of them committing more crimes before they’re caught.
“If you have a felony arrest warrant that’s been issued for you, it’s probably not your first offense you ever committed. Very, very, very rarely.” Fitch said, “As far as percentage of those that would go out and re-offend, it’s probably a pretty high number, because that’s what they do.”
Fitch says about a hundred wanted felons are arrested each day in the county — many through traffic stops. To go after the “worst of the worst,” Fitch says city and county police have teamed up with the Fugitive Task Force to seek violent offenders and get them off the streets.