For the second week in a row, tips from alert readers of The Washington Examiner have led directly to the capture of a dangerous fugitive.
Andrew Courtney Jenkins, a convicted child sex offender, had been on the run since last summer after failing to notify Prince George’s County authorities that he had changed his address. His story was featured in Thursday’s newspaper, and by 8 a.m., authorities had at least two Jenkins sightings.
“We got another one” featured in The Examiner, said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. “Jenkins had made a statement in the past that he wasn’t going back to jail, but he was wrong. He’s back in jail today.”
A person on the 1600 block of Benning Road NE showed the newspaper with the picture of Jenkins to a uniformed D.C. police officer, pointed to a nearby laundry room and said, “There’s your man, right there.” Jenkins, who had become homeless, had been sleeping in the laundry room, and he was arrested, Burke said.
The Examiner has featured a most wanted fugitive each week on its Crime & Punishment page since July. Jenkins, 24, is the eighth suspect captured as a direct result of someone reading the newspaper and tipping off authorities. Last week, police captured violent child sex offender Andre Stevenson after readers saw him hanging around a private school in Southeast Washington.
Citizens surrounded Stevenson and made sure he didn’t get away until the police showed up and arrested him.
Even when police don’t make an immediate arrest of a featured fugitive, the profiles help U.S. marshals, Burke said.
“It puts more stress on [fugitives]. They start to move around more and make a mistake and we get ’em,” Burke said.
The Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, comprises 28 federal, state and local agencies from Baltimore to Norfolk. The unit has captured 23,000 wanted fugitives since its creation in 2004.