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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 12:43 am | Fair 51º


Sheriff’s Department Web Page Leads to Warrant Arrests

Deputies use citizen tips to track down fugitives and probation violators

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has a new tool on its Web site that is already helping deputies track down and arrest suspects wanted on active warrants.

The Top Ten Active Warrants Web page debuted in November. Since then, despite no publicity, the page has already prompted several tips that have led to three arrests.

The most recent arrest occurred Tuesday when a sheriff’s deputy was interviewing a woman regarding a burglary and recognized her from the Most Wanted page.

“We planned to go public with the Web page after making sure it was operating properly,” said Detective Ted Toedte, who serves as the department’s felony fugitive extradition office. “We know it’s a useful tool for our deputies. As the public learns about the site, we expect even more arrests.”

A judge typically issues an arrest warrant for individuals who have been arrested for a crime and continually fail to show up for court dates. In many cases, the individual has several outstanding warrants; others may be probation violators who violated the terms of their probation. There are more than 19,700 active warrants for people in Santa Barbara County.

The Top Ten Active Warrants Web page is similar to the department’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Web page, which generates tips from the community. However, often times, the Most Wanted fugitives have fled the area, and in some case, left the country.

“The Active Warrants Web page is different in that a large number of these individuals are living right here among us,” Toedte said. “If someone has information that helps us, a simple phone call may guarantee justice is served.”

Those interested in helping sheriff’s detectives can call 805.683.2724 or 805.681.4150, or call the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171 or click here to submit an anonymous e-mail tip.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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