Jul 18, 2011 9:14 PM by Ariel Wesler
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's detectives say they have made about a dozen arrests thanks to a website they launched in January.
It's called the Top Ten Active Warrants Web Page on the sheriff's website. Many of people on the site are suspected criminals who have skipped out on court dates or violated probation. Deputies have been able to arrest about a third thanks to tips from the public.
These are not necessarily the 10 most dangerous criminals in the county, but make no mistake, detectives want them off the streets.
There are nearly 20,000 active warrants for people in Santa Barbara County. These are just a few of the faces flying under the radar but detectives hope you might recognize them.
"They could be your neighbors. They could be people that you've worked with. It could be family members. Some of our tips have come from other people involved in criminal activity," said Sheriff's Detective Ted Toedte.
Many of the criminals on the Top 10 website right now have violated probation, committed drug crimes, or theft, and some have even made running from the law a habit.
"They've obviously had at least one or two warrants. Some of them have had as many as 20 warrants in the past and they continue to re- offend," Toedte said.
They range in age from their 20s to 40s. The sheriff's office says it tries to change up the top 10 every couple weeks and so far, considers the program a success.
"With social media and the web, everybody is pretty much online these days," Toedte said.
Detectives plan to continue using the internet to fight crime on the streets.
"Some people put a lot of stuff on their Facebook, and you'd be surprised at what they'll post," Toedte said.
Sheriff's deputies say if you do see any of these suspected criminals, do not try to contact them. Just remember where you are and call law enforcement immediately.
Detectives say they modelled their program after the Lompoc Police Department's "Most Wanted" page.
We checked in with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office. They do not have a similar program, but say it is something they are considering.
SB Sheriff's Top 10, click here
Lompoc PD Most Wanted, click here
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