Cops set up fake TV giveaway, con fugitives

COOK COUNTY, IL (NBC) Illinois' Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart proved Tuesday there's more than one way to catch a criminal.

More than 100 fugitives were taken into custody through "Operation C.W. Marketing," Dart's latest ruse to apprehend some of the 45,000 fugitives wanted in Cook County.

The two-week operation invited wanted offenders to a warehouse in Chicago to test various electronic devices and big-screen TVs, Dart said.

Participants believed they could keep the TVs after completing a survey.

Instead, of course, they were arrested by awaiting officers.

One fugitive took a bus to Chicago from Wisconsin to take the survey, Dart said.

Another sprinted several blocks when he was late for his appointment.

Those arrested were between 19 and 66 years old and are wanted for charges ranging from violent felonies to unpaid child support and traffic offenses.

Investigators used offenders' last known address to lure them into the operation.

In similar ruses, holiday shopping certificates were promised to wanted criminals and fugitives were told they were owed more federal stimulus money.

Earlier this year, 44,000 wanted fugitives and 1,000 others wanted for child support warrants were listed on the Cook County Sheriff's website.
Anonymous tips already have led to dozens of arrests, Dart said.

Copyright 2011 NBC. All rights reserved.