Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 4, 2014

Sheriff: Publication of Tazewell County warrants list is ‘a tremendous help’

TAZEWELL, Va. — Approximately 50 percent of the men and women features on a Tazewell County warrants list published weekly in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph have either been captured or accounted for.

A Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office warrants list of wanted persons and their photographs have been appearing on Sunday in the Daily Telegraph since early March, Sheriff Brian Hieatt said Friday. Readers have been calling in tips about suspects’ whereabouts regularly.

“It’s been a tremendous help,” Hieatt said. “We’ve had several people call who have seen it there. Any avenue we can use to get (list) before the public helps, and having it in the Daily Telegraph has helped us a lot.”

After consulting Cindy Tomlinson of the sheriff office’s criminal warrants division, Hieatt said about half of the people featured in the warrants have either been captured or surrendered to authorities.

Forty-eight wanted persons have appeared on the warrants list since the newspaper started publishing it on March 6, Hieatt said. Out of this number, 25 persons have been located; two of them were incarcerated at facilities outside of Tazewell County. Personnel at these detention centers notified the sheriff’s office after noting that the people were in custody.

In other cases, people who moved away from the county and did not realize that a warrant had been issued have turned themselves in, Hieatt said.

Before the list was being published, deputies had to visit last addresses to see if the people on the list were still living there or could be traced.

“It’s a lot of leg work. It’s saving us a lot of time for people to see it out there,” Hieatt said.

The warrants list is also available on a new app being offered by the sheriff’s office. Suitable for smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices, the app also allows users to give tips to investigators and view the warrants list.

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