How Do I Report a Fugitive That Is Wanted?

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Tools available in the information age make hiding from the law increasingly difficult for fugitives. In addition to traditional alert methods -- such as posters, flyers and mailings -- television programs and websites also provide up-to-date information on wanted criminals. Most of these sources will provide a phone number for you to call to report the fugitive in question. However, for cases in which you don't have contact information or are unsure of the agency looking for the wanted person, there are some steps you can take to ensure justice.

Check to make sure the individual in question is really wanted. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains a comprehensive catalog of fugitives showing names, photos and other related information. You can search for fugitives by location and/or name on the Wanted By the FBI search center on the FBI's website. (See Resource 1)

Find the FBI office nearest you or the fugitive's location. You can find which one of the 56 FBI field offices is closest by entering your state, city, county or zip code in the Local FBI Field Offices website. (See Resource 2) If you are out of the country and witnessed the whereabouts of a fugitive, you will need to locate a legal attaché (or legat) office appropriate for the region. You can find the correct office using the FBI Legal Attaché Offices search tool. (See Resource 3)

Contact the appropriate field office within the U.S. using the information provided on the field office's Web page. Each of the 56 field offices has its own Web page which will provide you with information on how to contact them. Most offices have phone and fax numbers and many permit you to contact them via email. The email addresses will be listed on the field office's Web page. To contact a legal attaché office, you will need to call the number given on the legat Web page.

Submit tips and information on the fugitive using the FBI's Tips and Public Leads form if you don't know which local field or legat office to contact. (See Resource 4) For high-profile, major cases, you can also call 800-225-5324 to report information.


  • If the fugitive poses an immediate danger to you or others, call 9-1-1.



About the Author

David Johnston works internationally as a freelance writer and editor in a number of professional fields. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

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