Ken Paxton

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Texas Attorney General's Fugitive Unit Locates Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitive in New York

HOUSTON Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Fugitive Unit located one of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. The suspect, who was located and arrested in New York, is wanted in Texas on two outstanding felony arrest warrants.

After receiving information from the Fugitive Unit, officers with the New York Police Department tracked down and incarcerated Joel Burt Thompkins, 48, last Friday. The arrest stems from a warrant that was issued by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office earlier this summer. Thompkins has been wanted for capital murder since June 7, when he was charged with murdering and burglarizing his acquaintance in Houston. He is also wanted by authorities in Dallas County, where he failed to comply with mandatory sex offender registration requirements.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Thompkins was previously arrested in Dallas multiple times from 1979 to 1991. Those arrests stemmed from sexual assault, burglary of a habitation, dangerous drugs, robbery and evading arrest charges. Thompkins also was arrested in Dallas on December 12, 2009, for failing to comply with mandatory sex offender registration requirements.

In addition to his crimes in Texas, Thompkins also has a lengthy criminal history in New York. From 1987 to 2009, he was twice arrested on felony firearms charges and was the subject of multiple misdemeanor arrests for possession of controlled substance and burglary.

Attorney General Abbott’s Fugitive Unit works with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and other law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest fugitives with a history of sex crimes who have violated parole or sex offender registration requirements. Parole violations include failing to report to parole officers or being present in areas that might allow them access to young children. Since operations began in August 2003, the unit has arrested more than 1,900 fugitives.