By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Sheriff's deputies and county constables traveled across Lubbock County Thursday to get people to lay it or pay it on outstanding warrants. Offenders who failed to pay fines and fees by the March 5 deadline were subject to arrest.
For the fifth year, Lubbock County is participating in the 2011 Great Texas Warrant Round Up. Lubbock County is one of more than 250 law enforcement agencies across Texas to concentrate its efforts to arrest offenders on warrants.
Last week, Lubbock sent out 1,803 letters warning offenders to pay their assessed costs and fines immediately. The outstanding balance totaled up to $692,348.56.
So authorities set out to recover some of tax payer dollars Thursday. Five teams of two officers headed out to make field arrests on more than 40 offenders.
"It helps clear up a bunch of warrants. You're able to cover more areas in a shorter time period," said Lt. Mark Lunsford, Lubbock County Warrants Division.
They went to find people with anything from a parking ticket to failure to stop and render aid charge.
"The judge set them a fine and they have a certain amount of time to pay it and they failed to follow the terms," said Lunsford.
But finding offenders with outstanding warrants and those who owe money to the county is not as easy as it looks.
"It's pretty difficult most the time, because people usually know they're wanted so they don't stay in the same place every long. It could be as much as a bad check writer to a felon," said Lunsford.
In conjunction with the LSO warrants division and the county constables office, they were able to arrest nine offenders and clear 25 warrants. People jailed will receive credit against the balance owed for the time they serve while behind bars. Authorities said that can range from $50 to $100 a day.
Lubbock County said during the round up they have collected close to 30 to 40 percent of the remaining balance. The fines collected will go toward funding the new jail and the county payroll.
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