Operation Spring Cleaning

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

May 22, 2006

Local law enforcement officers are doing some spring cleaning trying to sweep the streets of criminals.

“We couldn't be more happier at this point,” said Albemarle County Police Sgt. Peter Mainzer.

Albemarle County police are calling "Operation Spring Cleaning" a complete success. The two day round-up of wanted suspects started with an ad in this Sunday’s paper.

“We are commited here as an agency to try to reduce the numbers of outstanding warrants and the only way we can do that is through a cooperative effort with the public,” said Mainzer.

Acting on tips from citizens; officers hit the streets.

“That's what he looks like,” an officer asked.

“Oh, I've seen him,” said a woman.

Sometimes they were lucky and sometimes they weren't so lucky

“You say they moved out last June,” said the officer.

In the end county police say they served 32 outstanding warrants in less than 48 hours, clearing 10 percent of a targeted list of nearly 300 fugitives.

“The biggest offender that we were able to apprehend was Lindsay Winston. He was one of our top seven offenders and we were able to get him to turn himself in,” said Mainzer.

Lindsay James Winston was charged with aggravated sexual assault. Others were charged with everything from bad checks to probation violations.

Police say aggressively pursuing wanted suspects is a critical part of law enforcement. “We want to make sure that this is a safe and secure community,” said Mainzer.

This operation took 20 officers a day and many volunteers to man the phones and it’s not over yet. Police are hoping to round up even more fugitives before Operation Spring Cleaning" sweeps up at midnight.

For a list of outstanding warrants from police and the sheriff's office, check out albemarle.org.

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