Fugitive surrenders after Examiner readers' tips

Crime,Scott McCabe

The phones at the U.S. Marshal's office in the District lit up after Jermaine Lewis appeared as The Washington Examiner's "Most Wanted" fugitive.

The 31-year-old Lewis was being sought for first-degree burglary after Montgomery County police said he broke into a Gaithersburg home, ransacked it and stole thousands of dollars in property.

After his photo and story were featured in Thursday's editions of The Examiner, marshal's deputies said they received numerous tips from callers saying that Lewis hung out on Oneida Street in Northeast Washington and Nicholson Street in Northwest D.C.

When investigators followed up leads and conducted interviews, they came across several people reading the article about Lewis, said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. Several citizens produced a copy of the article for investigators and asked if they were looking for the person in the paper.

The citizens confirmed that fugitive task force members were on the right trail, but Lewis remained a step ahead, Burke said.

But the next day Lewis apparently decided he was tired of running, approached a U.S. Park Police officer in Washington and surrendered. He was taken into custody without incident.

Burke credited The Examiner for the arrest.

"Another successful closure -- just like we like it," Burke said. "We like it when they turn themselves in. It saves us a lot of work, and saves money so we can go on to the next one."

Since the weekly "Most Wanted" feature began three years ago, tips from readers of The Washington Examiner have led to the capture of 34 fugitives, including convicted murderers, kidnappers, sex offenders and con artists.

Police said Lewis has a history of arrests for weapons, money laundering and drug charges. Police said Lewis forced his way inside a home on Irish Court on July 5, but luckily the family was not home.

The Capital Area Regional Fugitive 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 wanted fugitives since its creation in 2004.

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