Most Wanted: Persistent tipster helps marshals nab killer limo driver

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Most Wanted

U.S. Marshals' deputies have arrested the killer limousine driver thanks to a persistent reader of The Washington Examiner.

Melvin Dexter Brooks becomes the 50th person whose arrest has been credited to the newspaper.

"The Examiner does it again," said Supervisory Inspector Matt Burke, of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. "When the public assists law enforcement, we are all safer."

Brooks' story and mugshot appeared in the newspaper Nov. 15, leading to tips from three readers, Burke said. Investigators spent "a good deal of time" developing those leads, but were unable to pinpoint his exact location.

"The public is law enforcement's greatest resource. Great job, readers."
-- Matt Burke, Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force

On Friday, one of the original tipsters spotted Brooks walking in the 1100 block of Congress Street in Southeast Washington and called. Investigators were already in the area working a different case, and quickly took Brooks into custody without incident. He complained to arresting officers about having his story in the paper.

Brooks, 57, had gone on the lam this summer after violating the terms of his parole for a 1981 murder and narcotics charge. A warrant was issued for his arrest in October.

Investigators were confident that The Examiner's readers could help find him because Brooks had several distinctive features, including two fingers missing on his left hand.

"This program of profiling wanted people in the D.C. area is one small way in which the public can take an active role in keeping our community safe," Burke said."The public is law enforcement's greatest resource. Great job, readers."

Since 2008, the "Most Wanted" feature has led directly to the capture or surrender of murderers, armed robbers, kidnappers, sex offenders and drug dealers.

At least nine of the fugitives were wanted for a killing or had previously been convicted of a homicide.

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