Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Warrant sweep nets 59 suspects in Bucks, Montco, Philly

Bench warrants served in criminal and domestic cases.

Warrant sweep nets 59 suspects in Bucks, Montco, Philly

Fifty-nine suspects facing charges ranging from robbery and car theft to failure to pay child support were rounded up this week in a “warrant sweep” of Bucks and Montgomery counties and Philadelphia, officials said Friday.

“This lets people know: If we have a warrant out for you, we’ll be looking for you,” Bucks Sheriff Edward “Duke” Donnelly said following the three-day sweep. “If you don’t want to be embarrassed by us coming for you, turn yourself in.”

It was the first such area sweep in nearly two years, Donnelly said, “and it won’t be the last one. We’ll have three or four a year.”

The warrants were for people who failed to show up in Common Pleas Court for domestic or criminal charges. Most of those served were taken into custody, with a few given time to turn themselves in.

By joining forces, deputies were able to serve warrants to suspects living in neighboring counties.

Deputies tried to serve an average of 80 warrants each day, Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Behr said at a press coinference at the Bensalem Township Police Department. They succeeded in serving 35 people wanted in Montgomery County, 14 in Bucks and 10 in Philadelphia, she said.

“We had one domestic case in which more than $27,000 is owed, and another with more than $10,000 owed,” Behr said.

Five deputies from each county and Delaware County served the warrants for at least eight hours a day. Chester County didn’t participate but is committed to the joint effort, Donnelly said.

“The deputies started about 4 a.m., when people are home,” he said. “After 8 or 9 a.m., people are at work or are out.”

Outstanding bench warrants are listed on the sheriff’s page of each county’s website. Those named can call the sheriff’s department to turn themselves in, and relatives and friends can report tips, Donnelly said.

“A judge is the only one who can remove a warrant,” he said. “Call us, and we’ll get you before a judge.”

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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