Earlier today, we shared with you the latest edition of Denver's Top 50 Most Wanted Criminals.
And the Denver Police Department is making progress on shrinking that number.
According to Lt. Tony Lopez, commander of the complex-investigations section, four of those listed have already been taken into custody, including No. 33, Freddie Ray Lazzo.
Lopez describes Lazzo as "a bad dude. He was one of the ones we were most worried about -- and we got him."
Details about the busts and the others captured? Lopez happily provides them.
Those from the roster who are now in stir include Shannon Spicer, No. 10, who "we found hiding in a girlfriend's bathroom," Lopez says, plus Andrew Cross, No. 11, discovered via a tipster, and Scott Hillier, No. 25. Lopez notes that Hillier "was apprehended at a residence in Green Valley Ranch, I believe."
From his perspective, though, Lazzo was the biggest find.
"He sexually assaulted a kid," Lopez points out. "And we had information that he was frequenting social Internet sites. We were concerned that, given his record of sexual assault, menacing, robbery, theft, etc., that he might be setting up additional victims."
Moreover, he goes on, "we'd been told he'd seen himself in the paper and tried to change his appearance. He cut his hair, shaved off his facial hair and was making plans to leave the area today."
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Before he got the chance, "we caught him at an ex-girlfriend's house," Lopez says. "And that was a great catch. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, and his past behavior had been bad."
Last year, the DPD nabbed 70 percent of the top fifty -- 35 out of fifty -- and Lopez is hoping for at least that much success this year. He discourages anyone with information from approaching the individuals in question: "They're dangerous," he stresses. Instead, he urges them to call 720-913-STOP and provide any information they can: the vehicle the suspect might be driving, a license plate number and so on. A reward of up to $2,000 is available if the info leads to the apprehension and conviction of the accused criminal in question, and tipsters can remain anonymous.
On top of the aforementioned busts, Lopez says 26 additional arrests were made in the recent DPD sweep, half for felonies and half for misdemeanors. "We're asking for people to get into contact with us about anyone involved in crime, whether they're in the top fifty or not," he says.
Page down to see photos of Spicer, Cross and Hillier: