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79-year-old fugitive surrenders after Examiner story

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

A 79-year-old fugitive sex offender and armed robber turned himself in after seeing his profile in The Washington Examiner, U.S. Marshals deputies say.

Clarence Griffin becomes the 48th person who was taken into custody after being featured in The Examiner.

(View a photo gallery of the 48 fugitives captured after their cases appeared in The Examiner)

Griffin was locked up on Friday after his lawyer arranged his surrender. And that came after authorities received four calls from Examiner readers giving tips in the case.

"This is another good example of the 'Most Wanted' feature working well," said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector for the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. "Griffin was aware of his profile in The Examiner and walked into a D.C. police station to take care of his warrants safely and efficiently."

Law enforcement authorities no longer have to spend resources looking for Griffin and can turn their efforts to the next fugitive, Burke said.

Griffin was wanted by the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office for failure to register as a sex offender for an incident that occurred in 2007. He was also wanted by the Maryland State Police for violating his parole for armed robbery in the 1980s.

Griffin is the second capture credited to The Examiner in less than a month. Two and a half weeks ago, a convicted kidnapper was arrested by police at a concert in Seat Pleasant after Marshals deputies received a tip from an alert reader who saw him featured in the paper.

Since 2008, the "Most Wanted" feature has led directly to the capture or surrender of nearly 50 murderers, armed robbers, kidnappers, sex offenders, drug dealers and con artists, federal officials say. At least eight captured were wanted in a killing or had previously been convicted of a homicide.

Most of those were placed in custody thanks directly to readers' tips -- like the time commuters reading The Examiner at a Southeast Washington bus stop recognized the fugitive child sex offender featured in that day's newspaper and surrounded him until police arrived.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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