Reader’s Tip Helps Capture Fugitive Sex Offender

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Watchdog Weekly reader phones in tip identifying wanted sex offender.

The fact that there were 2 young children in the home at the time made it all the more urgent that Mr. Johnson was apprehended.

Watchdog Weekly (http://www.watchdogweekly.com), a new Indiana tabloid newspaper featuring photos of recent arrests, local sex offenders, and most wanted, aims to help deter crime and apprehend wanted criminals. Their first step in that direction was taken last Monday when a resident of The Pointe, a gated community near Lake Monroe in Bloomington, noticed a man who had been pictured in their most recent issue. The reader and concerned neighbor spotted a photo of Michael Nathan Johnson who was a convicted sex offender listed as “Unable to locate”. The resident, who remains anonymous, contacted Hinds Investigations & Security, the company which handles the security detail for The Pointe, and reported him.

When security officers arrived at the residence to follow up on the report, they were initially denied access by a woman who answered the door. It is unclear as to whether or not this woman is the owner of the unit. After some time, security officers notified the Indiana State Police who gained entry to the property and eventually found Mr. Johnson hiding in the ceiling rafters. He was taken into custody and preliminarily charged with failing to register as a sex or violent offender and booked into the Monroe County Jail at 10:43 PM on September 6, 2010. Bond was set at $25,000 surety and $500 cash, but he was being held on a parole violation. According to the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Sex/Violent Offenders Registry, Johnson is listed as an “offender against children” with a charge of child molesting.

Steve Hinds, owner of Hinds Investigations & Security (as well as this year’s Republican Candidate for Monroe County Sheriff) says, “Law enforcement cannot do this on their own. Watchdog Weekly is an invaluable resource, allowing members of the community to take action and report crime when they see it happening.” “The fact that there were 2 young children in the home at the time made it all the more urgent that Mr. Johnson was apprehended.”

Watchdog Weekly staff says they are very proud to have had a hand in capturing a fugitive. “It’s what we set out to do.” says Randy Hobbs, President of Red Handed Publishing, Inc. which publishes the weekly “mug shot newspaper” throughout much of South and Central Indiana. “We feel very humbled and satisfied with the knowledge that this man has now been located, and we were able to play a small part in it.”

After releasing their first issue in April of 2010, Watchdog Weekly has found a loyal following of fans who flock to convenience stores every week and pay $1 to bring home the latest issue. Hobbs says they have people constantly asking for past issues. He says that stores sell out of them so quickly that they are currently working to provide an online version as well to help meet the demand. “This is a testament to the public’s desire to have ready access to the information we publish, they want to know, and they want to be informed.” People who don’t see Watchdog Weekly in their community are urged to contact their local sheriff’s office to ask for their participation. “Our goal is to eventually reach all counties in South/Central Indiana” says Hobbs.

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