When there is a suspect in town charged with violent crimes and allowed to roam the streets, every person they come in contact with is in potential danger. When these suspects are on the run from my law enforcement team, they will do anything to get their hands on drugs, cash, food, and even a ride. If they are armed, the residents of this community are in grave danger the longer this suspect is on the loose.
We had a real challenge on our hands this year when a suspected murderer was able to slip out of his transfer unit and back into the streets. The suspect was hiding in town because we received numerous calls at the precinct from the suspect telling us to back off the search or he would make innocent people pay. Of course we were not going to stop, but we had to stop our efforts to a point to protect our community.
To make sure the suspect was not getting heated, we would work in the shadows. This meant not being able to utilize informants because we were afraid they would tip-off the suspect and he would go on a rampage. This brought me back to the jail he was housed, and I discovered a new resource in the Securus Technologies inmate phone system. The LBS software used with this communication system was able to monitor calls over a number of channels and listen in for key conversations.
When we used the system to discover chatter about our suspect, we hit pay dirt. It seems that his relatives that were still in the jail couldn’t help but rave how the family was rallying to keep him in hiding and who was protecting him from being exposed. We waited until dawn before we raided the house and found our suspect asleep and completely caught off guard how we found him.