The Myth of the FBI and America’s Most Wanted: Criminals Are Getting Away with Murder by Moving to Another State

Fleeing fugitives are a growing risk in America

Recent news stories have reported that millions of criminals are escaping justice in America, and overworked police departments are doing little to pursue them. According to a recent investigative series in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, between 1.9 and 2.7 million felony fugitives (including rapists and murderers) have eluded capture by crossing state lines.

Post-Dispatch reporters found a persistent problem with outstanding warrants across the country. If local or county police departments don’t enter all their warrants in the FBI database, fugitives not listed in the database can escape detection for their prior crimes.

Accu-Screen, a leader in employment background screening, frequently uncovers job candidates with criminal records or fraudulent credentials when it conducts background searches for employers.

“It’s alarming that so many criminals get away with their crimes and go on to victimize new people in another state,” says Kevin Connell, chief executive officer and founder of Accu-Screen. “Most people have a false sense of security about their own safety. But what you don’t know could make you the next victim.”

Connell believes employers must educate themselves about this issue. Companies that unknowingly hire felons or fugitives put themselves at increased risk of embezzlement, fraud, lawsuits and workplace violence. Individuals should also be alert to the possibility that a fugitive criminal may be hiding in their neighborhood or in their workplace.

Key facts about this national crisis include:

* Organizers of Philadelphia’s “Fugitive Safe Surrender” program were astonished when 1205 felons turned themselves in at a local church in mid-September. The program was designed to encourage non-violent fugitives to settle their outstanding warrants.

* More than one third of all felony warrants are not entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database checked by police across the country.

* Local police often refuse to pick up fugitives from other states, even when they’re wanted for violent crimes.
* The Senate Judiciary Committee recently passed the Biden/Durbin “Fugitive Information Networked Database Act of 2008”. This legislation aims to improve the identification, apprehension and extradition of felony fugitives.

“I support the Senate’s efforts to raise public awareness of this dangerous threat,” Connell says.

“I also want to get the word out to employers,” he continues. “Corporations and hiring managers that engage employment screening experts can dramatically reduce their risk of hiring an employee with a hidden criminal record.”


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