The Dallas-Fort Worth Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team is about to nab its 10,000th crook, says the Dallas Morning News. “It's hide-and-seek — with guns,” said Trent Touchstone, a U.S. marshal who coordinates the team's efforts. The team began seven years ago with fewer than 20 members from six local law enforcement agencies. Its membership has swelled threefold, and its reputation has grown immeasurably. “Those guys are just unbelievable,” said Dallas deputy police chief Craig Miller, who supervises homicide, robbery and other violent crimes detectives. “Their intelligence is just so good.”
The team is known for its exhaustive preparation. Sometimes beginning with only a name and a date of birth, it builds a dossier on the target. Using databases, a deep well of informants and some other investigative tricks, combined with years of experience hunting people, the team figures out where to set up surveillance and make the grab. “If we knew that they went to Mom's house every time, it'd be simple,” Touchstone said. “We can't just kick in every door. It can be a waiting game.” Some fugitives take a week or less to locate. Others take months. Their targets are desperate criminals, but so far no task force members have had to shoot anyone, nor have any been shot.