'Operation Bed Bug' Rounds Up Suspects
Posted November 12, 2007 1:33 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2007 8:11 p.m. EST
Wilson, N.C. — Wilson police officers started knocking on doors and drawing suspects out of their beds at sunrise on Saturday.
Police said Operation Bed Beg was designed to cut down on their backlog of 866 warrants and criminal summons before the holiday season. Crime, particularly larcenies, usually increases then, officers warned.
"We wanted to get some of the regular offenders off the street, so they won't have the opportunity to commit crimes against citizens during the holidays," Sgt. Jacqui Boykin said in a release.
More than 50 officers, from the police chief to rookies, participated in the operation. They arrested 26 suspects on charges ranging from felonies to issuing worthless checks.
Wilson police tried to alert people about the warrant round-up for several days beforehand and warned their names could be printed in the paper.
"Some of the men and women with outstanding warrants didn't know they were wanted, so we began a public information campaign," Boykin said. "We let citizens know that their names would be in the paper if they didn't take care of their charges. On Saturday morning, the names ran in the Daily Times."
That tactic prompted several people to turn themselves in, Boykin said. All together, police served 63 criminal papers, reducing the number of outstanding warrants by 7 percent.
Officials said they will keep warning the public about the potential for crime during the holiday season. The Wilson Police Department plans to conduct undercover campaigns to target repeat offenders, officials said.