When Crime Doesn’t Pay
Publication The North Shore Sun Date January 25, 2007 Section(s) Business By Frank Petrignani
A new publication called Long Island Fugitive Finder has helped the Crime Stoppers section of the Suffolk County Police Department capture two of the county’s most wanted within its first two weeks on newsstands.
The magazine, which hit stands on Jan. 5, is published by Coram businessman Dean Murray, who owns and runs D & S Advertising, Inc. The company also publishes the Long Island Job Finder, launched in 2000, and the Long Island Apartment Finder, which began publishing three years ago.
Mr. Murray used to work as the photo ad sales manager for TCI Cable in Brookhaven before it became Brookhaven Cable. While there, he worked on a dating network channel that also ran 15-second ads to help catch Suffolk County fugitives.
Mr. Murray thought the ads were a good idea, and he figured, why not start a publication that would make people aware of the fugitives among them?
“You’re going to see these people,” said Mr. Murray. “So if we can get them out to thousands of people, eventually people will see them, call police and tips would start rolling in.”
And he was right.
“We brought a man off the street who had seven separate warrants,” said Carol Rivadeneyra of Crime Stoppers.
She said by bringing his idea to Crime Stoppers and having the fugitives’ information published, Mr. Murray is doing a great service to the community.
“I thought it was a fabulous idea right from the beginning,” she said. “It’s making people aware that there are fugitives in their areas and making them more proactive rather than reactive about their surroundings. He must have a real aspiration to make Suffolk County safer because he is investing a lot of time and money in this product.”
The publication provides readers with a mug shot, date of birth, race, weight, description of the fugitive’s crimes and the person’s last whereabouts. Currently, Mr. Murray said his company is “swallowing the cost” of the publication. However, he thinks companies will start advertising more to help him cover costs and make a profit. The publication will benefit advertisers because it provides a community service. It also caters to a very specific market, especially local schools with criminal justice programs and businesses that sell home security and car alarm systems.
Mr. Murray also said he is hoping within the next month to begin working with Nassau County Crime Stoppers. With both Nassau and Suffolk County fugitives in the publication, he said, it could double its size and the number of fugitives it helps to take off the streets.
The publication includes a Crime Stoppers number for readers to call if they spot a fugitive. People who provide tips leading to the arrest of a fugitive will receive an award of up to $2,000 from Crime Stoppers.
Ms. Rivadenyera stressed that readers should not try to apprehend fugitives on their own. Instead, people should call Crime Stoppers and let the police handle the situation, she said.
Long Island Fugitive Finders is available in approximately 200 locations throughout the county, including supermarkets, laundromats and video stores. About 25,000 copies are distributed every month.