Fake Survey Nabs Over 100 Wanted Fugitives in Sting

Local fugitives nabbed in sting with promise of cash and free flat-screen TVs.

The lure of free electronics and cash helped net more than 100 wanted fugitives in a sting organized by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Tuesday.

The fugitives thought they were coming to a Southwest Side warehouse to test new home electronics. Instead, county sheriff’s police arrested them.

“Operation C.W. Marketing” was a two-week effort that targeted fugitives wanted for violent felonies, misdemeanor traffic offenses, unpaid child support and contempt of court charges, Dart said in a press release.

The sting resulted in 102 arrests, with 106 warrants cleared, including 15 felonies, 72 misdemeanors and 15 from civil courts.  The county also netted more than $5,000 in towing fees as part of the operation.

Investigators from the Cook County Sheriff’s Central Warrants Unit mailed thousands of invitations to offenders whose warrants were the most recent issued in Cook County. The fugitives were invited to make appointment with C.W. Marketing to take surveys on assorted home electronics. Participants were told they’d receive $75 in cash and get to keep the electronics in exchange for their feedback.

More than 50 wanted fugitives ranging in age from 19 to 66 – made appointments from Sept. 17 to Sept. 24 to come to a Cook County government warehouse to pick up their loot. Jolly undercover agents carrying empty flat-screen TV boxes and video systems out to their cars greeted the fugitives as they arrived, Dart said.

Officers moved in for the arrest after the offenders’ identities were confirmed and targets posed for photos. A Wisconsin man wanted for domestic battery took a bus from Kenosha to Chicago to give his feedback in exchange for free electronic gadgets.

Another offender with a long rap sheet was 90 minutes late, but kept calling sheriff’s police to tell them he was running late, Dart said.

“Operation C.W. Marketing” is just the latest ruse in Dart’s arsenal of creative crime fighting strategies designed to lure unsuspecting, not-so-bright criminals into being apprehended.

Other ruses enticed wanted criminals with holiday shopping certificates and another promised federal stimulus money.

Fugitives nabbed in the communities served by the Patch network are:

  • Timothy Brown, 44, of Oak Lawn, wanted on a charge of contempt.
  • Tyrone Harris, 37, of Palos Hills, wanted for driving on a suspended license.
  • Adnan Askar, 50, of Palos Hills, wants on a charge of contempt.
  • Pamela Walker, 47, of Flossmoor, wanted on a charge of contempt.

Others apprehended from communities include:

  • Hatham Hashlomovan, 37, of Bridgeview, wanted on a charge of contempt.
  • Angel Tellez, 34, of Burbank, wanted for driving on a suspended sentence.
  • Morgan Benavidez, 23, of Hickory Hills, wanted on a DUI.

The public can search for fugitives by name or hometown on the Cook County Sheriff’s website. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of wanted fugitives can anonymously call sheriff’s office at 708-865-4902 or email fugitive.warrants@cookcountyil.gov.


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