'Washington Examiner' Claims Eight Arrests Spurred by 'Most Wanted' Feature

By: E&P Staff Since its July 2008 debut, the Washington Examiner's weekly "Most Wanted" page has made a big impression on readers and subjects alike. According to the Examiner, eight arrests of "Most Wanted" fugitives have been a direct result of the paper's stories.

The "most wanted" feature was the brainchild of Scott McCabe, who along with fellow Examiner crime reporter Freeman Klopott, writes the feature every Thursday in the free daily.

"What happens is every week, either U.S. Marshals or local police, send us a photo of one person with some background," Klopott explains. "We usually have to flesh out the background with some court files and look up some old news stories, try to find out why they're so dangerous." The stories, usually between 300 and 350 words long, have proved popular with both the community and law enforcement.

On June 11, a "Most Wanted" story ran profiling Andre Stevenson, who was wanted for failing to register as a sexually violent offender in Charles County, Md. Examiner readers spotted Stevenson at a bus stop near a private school in Southeast Washington. The group surrounded Stevenson and prevented him from departing the scene before the police arrived to arrest him.

The next week, another story focused on Andrew Jenkins, a convicted child-sex offender who had been missing since last summer after failing to notify Prince George's County authorities that he had changed his address. He was arrested the same day the story ran, after a reader showed a police officer the story with Jenkins' picture.

"It's been a great success, and we've gotten great feedback as a result of having [our crime stories] on one set page," says Klopott. "A lot of the time, particularly in broadsheets, the crime coverage is spread out in a lot of places. There's no one place to see what's going on in my city. We have one page, with shorter stories and a blotter. It gives readers a full picture of what's going on, and it take literally two minutes to read."


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