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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > St. Lucie County

Fugitive found after 23 years thanks to anonymous tip
Rating: 2.48 / 5 (25 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 14 - 07:08

By Dawn Krebs


PORT ST. LUCIE -- A man who had been on the run from justice since 1989 was found and arrested on Dec. 4 in Port St. Lucie.

Paul Walter Lawrence, 45, of 1502 S.W. Janette Ave., Port St. Lucie, has had a warrant out for his arrest since he violated his probation on a 1988 burglary charge.

Local police were alerted to Mr. Lawrence's location by Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers. The Port St. Lucie Police Department then notified the U.S. Marshal's Regional Fugitive Task Force.

When approached at his home, Mr. Lawrence told the task force officers that "he knew this day would come." He told them the original burglary incident in 1988 was when he broke into a school and ate some ice cream. Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers allows local residents to pass along information about local crimes and wanted people in the area. All the information given is anonymous, and in some cases, an award is offered. Tips have included information about a large variety of crimes, including murders, robberies, drugs and firearms possession.

Each tip is assigned a number. The anonymous tipster uses the number to identify himself or herself.

Another recent arrest based on a crime stopper tip was that of Kelvin Smith, who was wanted in connection with the shooting of four people in Fort Pierce in July 2012.

"Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers sends us written notifications of any tips that come in for Port St. Lucie," said Master Sgt. Frank Sabol, public information officer for the Port St. Lucie Police Department. "We love working with them, and they are a great benefit to the community."

Those who wish to phone in a tip can call (800) 273-8477 or go online to www.tcwatch.org.

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