NORTHUMBRIA, U.K. — A fugitive in England has taunted police by offering to double the reward they posted for information on his whereabouts and in doing so, has attracted a following of fans.
Aaron Stephenson, a 27-year-old from Newbiggin, is wanted under a crown court warrant in connection with a drug supply investigation, according to Independent.
— H24 News UK (@h24news_uk) September 9, 2020
On Wednesday, Northumbria Police posted on Facebook offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information on Stephenson:
“Can you help find wanted man Aaron Stephenson?
“Detectives hunting for a wanted man from Newbiggin are appealing to the public for information – with a reward of up to £1,000.
“Our officers are keen to locate Aaron Stephenson, 27, who is wanted in connection with an investigation into drug supply and a crown court warrant.
“Efforts have been ongoing to locate Stephenson with a number of addresses searched as enquiries continue.
“And now officers leading the search have revealed that anyone who provides information that leads to his arrest and charge could receive a reward of up to £1,000.
“The reward has been offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers who can be contacted anonymously.”
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In the post, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Brooks, of Northumbria Police, said the Force will continue to do everything they can to locate Stephenson:
“We have made extensive enquiries in a bid to trace Aaron Stephenson and our efforts will continue until he is brought into custody.
“He is wanted in connection with a number of serious offences and we are asking members of the community who may know his whereabouts or who have recently seen him to come forward.
“Someone out there will know something and that may be the small detail that helps lead to an arrest.
“I would also appeal directly to Aaron to come forward and hand himself in and do the right thing.”
Police said Stephenson is of Woodhorn Road in Newbiggin and described as white, around 5 feet and 10 inches tall, with short brown hair and a medium build.
In the post, Ruth McNee, Regional Manager at Crimestoppers, said:
“If anyone has information on Aaron’s whereabouts please remember that you can stay 100% anonymous by calling our charity or by using our simple and secure online form.
“No one will ever know you contacted us.”
However, Stephenson himself soon responded publicly, offering to hand himself in if police paid him 20 times that amount and to double the reward money to anyone who kept their “mouth shut.”
Commenting underneath the police department’s appeal, Stephenson posted:
“If yous put a red carpet out and some lovely silver poles ill come in happily?”
He added that police “know what they do” when they post public appeals, accusing them of seeking to make him a target for online abuse.
On Stephenson’s own Facebook page, he questioned why police allegedly do not offer rewards for information on pedophiles.
In older posts, Stephenson expresses his disgust of those who preyed on children, including a member of the Royal family.
He also posted a meme that shows the media shining the spotlight on coronavirus instead of “those rich guys…on epsteins island.”
On the police department’s Facebook page, posters also questioned whether police were putting enough effort into catching pedophiles.
Stephenson has attracted a lot of attention since posting on the police department’s Facebook page and seems to have a lot of fans rooting for him and commenting on his good looks.
Social media has succeeded in helping police identify fugitives. On Sept. 5, we reported how a social media video helped police identify a man who stole an officer’s rifle in Seattle.
Thanks to video reviewed on YouTube, investigators were said to have identified the man who stole a police firearm in Seattle from an SPD vehicle on May 30.
An Everett man has been accused of stealing a high-powered rifle from a patrol car during a protest that was declared a riot in downtown Seattle on May 30.https://t.co/tzfK6yx04T
— Q13 FOX Seattle (@Q13FOX) September 5, 2020
Now the suspect identified in the video is facing a serious charge of possession of a stolen firearm.
It’s now been over four months since the start of all the riots and protests across the country and police are still working cases linked to some of the most riotous and destructive periods of said national unrest. As is the case with the recent arrest of 24-year-old Jacob Little.
Little was charged on Sept. 4 and made his first appearance in federal that same day. According to the Department of Justice, video evidence showed Little in possession of the bag that held the stolen Colt M4 rifle on May 30.
The scenery from May 30 in Seattle was chaotic, but investigators were able to spot Little remocing the bag from the police vehicle that was parked outside the downtown Nordstrom store.
Not long after the pilfering that police vehicle, among many others, was destroyed and burned by rioters.
Authorities acted on the information and video evidence gathered during the investigation and sought out a search warrant for Little’s residence, which was granted.
After executing the search warrant, investigators uncovered text messages from the suspect’s phone show are said to show him trying to facilitate selling the stolen gun.
Those text messages were said to have contained messages from Little to his buyer saying that he’d removed identifying marks from the stolen rifle.
Also, clothing from the suspect’s home was recovered, which matched the clothes worn by the person seen in the video stealing the rifle from the police vehicle.
Authorities have yet to recover the firearm, likely due to it already having been sold by the suspect. The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department, the ATF, the U.S. Marshals and the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force. If convicted, Little could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of a stolen firearm.
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