AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Although 2021 was a year that saw many discouraging records broken – such as COVID-19 cases and Amarillo-area homicides – the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said it was pleased to announce that the year saw the highest number of Most Wanted Offenders captured since the program’s beginning.

After its start in 1993, DPS reported that 2021 saw a record number of 34 fugitives and sex offenders captured in cooperation with state, federal, local, and Mexican authorities. That broke the previous record of 32 captures, DPS said, which was set in 2013. In addition, DPS said that $71,500 was paid in rewards for anonymous tips that led to arrests.

Among the 34 people captured in 2021, said DPS, were “12 gang members and 17 convicted sex offenders. 14 people were captured within just two months, from Oct. 13 through Dec. 13.”

“The public plays an integral role in the captures of these offenders, ensuring we have a successful Texas 10 Most Wanted Program and making our communities, and all of us, safer,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “I’m proud of this program and would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners who helped successfully bring these criminals to justice.”

DPS said that it selects fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders lists by working alongside local law enforcement to decide which “pose the most significant threat to public safety in the state.” The current lists and photos can be found on the DPS website. More information on those captured through the program in 2021 can be found in the organization’s archive.

DPS noted that in order to be eligible for cash rewards through a Crime Stoppers program, those with tips must give information to authorities through one of the following methods;

  • Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
  • Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about then clicking on the link under their picture.
  • Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

Regardless of how they are submitted, DPS said that all tips are anonymous and that tipsters will be provided a “tip number” instead of using a name.