Local News

Joint Crime-Fighting Program Pays Off In Durham

Posted January 9, 2003 4:54 a.m. EST

— A new crime-fighting initiative in Durham appears to be paying off.

In September, three people were shot outside the Jaguars nightclub. Police now have their eyes on suspected shooter Keith Whitley. He is one of several people police are on the lookout for in Operation Looking Glass -- a new task force that does not target certain areas or certain types of crimes, but it focuses on specific criminals.

"We have information on who they are, where they live and we're going to be following them," said Capt. Steve Mihiach, of the Durham Police Department.

Operation Looking Glass was originally targeting 23 of Durham's most violent criminals, but in just three weeks, authorities said they have already tracked down 17 of them.

"We've actually either taken them into custody or located them and have them under surveillance," Mihiach said.

Durham sheriff's deputies and police officers have been going door-to-door to track down suspects. They have been doing undercover surveillance as well as making their presence known.

"We have some individuals that are gangs and are doing public crimes. We want them to know we're watching and want them to know we are there to stop them from carrying out criminal activities," said Lt. Norman Gordon, of the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

In November, police said Timothy McLauren shot a man several times in this parking lot. With the resources dedicated to Operation Loooking Glass, they caught up with him.

"When we arrested him, we actually found him in possession of the gun used in the shooting," Gordon said.

Officials said there have been 44 arrests in just three weeks.

The task force is made up of about two dozen officers from the Sheriff's Office and Police Department. This is the first ongoing project the two have worked on together.