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51st fugitive off the streets thanks to Examiner readers

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Local,DC,Crime,Scott McCabe,Captured-Most Wanted

U.S. marshals deputies said they got a twofer -- a fugitive and a gun -- thanks to tips from readers of The Washington Examiner.

With his capture, 23-year-old Saiku Bah became the 51st fugitive whose arrest has been credited to readers of The Examiner since it began its "Most Wanted" feature more than four years ago.

Deputies received several calls that the suspected serial burglar was hiding at an apartment building in Northeast Washington after he was profiled in the newspaper Thursday.

Investigators kept surveillance on an apartment at 1300 block of Eastern Avenue NE, and spotted Bah enter a residence Friday evening.

As law enforcement officers entered the apartment, Bah tossed a sock out the window, according to charging documents.

Bah surrendered, and police recovered a .22-caliber revolver from the sock, said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector for the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

"Bad guy and gun are off the street, and possible future crimes are prevented," Burke said. "We couldn't ask for better help than that. Great job again to The Examiner readers."

Law enforcement officials said Bah had racked up a long rap sheet, with numerous run-ins with police in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, including on charges of assault, resisting arrest, drugs, theft, robbery and burglary.

Most recently, Bah and others are suspected of forcing their way into homes in the Hyattsville area in November 2012, police said.

Bah now faces a new charge: possession of an unregistered firearm.

"This is a good lesson for other fugitives who will be profiled in The Examiner," Burke said. "If you see yourself in the paper, you should turn yourself in and not run the risk of getting charged with additional crimes when we find you."

Since 2008, The Examiner's "Most Wanted" feature has led directly to the capture or surrender of 51 fugitives. Among them were a man wanted in a 1997 cold-case slaying, a teenager accused of killing a 16-year-old boy and stuffing his body in a closet, and a key figure in one of the largest federal contracting scams in United States history.

Rob Fernandez, commander of the fugitive task force, said The Examiner has become a valuable crime-fighting tool. The fugitives selected to appear in "Most Wanted" are generally violent offenders that the task force has been unable to find on its own. The weekly feature also helps people realize that fighting crime is a responsibility for all, Fernandez said.

"It gives people the power," he said.

The task force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, is composed of 30 federal, state and local agencies from Baltimore to Norfolk. The unit has captured more than 33,000 fugitives since its creation in 2004.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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