WALLS, MS (abc24.com) - With almost 100 warrants and thousands of dollars it sounds like a major criminal case, but it's what the Walls Police Department is owed from misdemeanor traffic violations.
A few of the warrants date back more than six years. The problem is most of the people live in Memphis and Mississippi police officers can't come after them. The department has decided to go online, posting all the names, photos and charges for every active warrant.
Police Chief Gary Boisseau is hoping people will see themselves or someone they know and the offenders will pay up.
"We're the nice police department," jokes Boisseau. "We send people letters."
Ever heard the saying nice guys finish last? The Walls Most Wanted page shows what $30,000 looks like. That's how much all of the offenders combined owe the town. It's $30,000 no one's paying.
"We'll send them letters and letters and letters," Boisseau says. "People are just not taking care of their business."
Thus, the warrants for their arrest.
All 97 on the list are charged with misdemeanors from traffic violations to missing court. Tired of missing out on the money, the police department created the most wanted list.
South Memphis resident Sandra Brown is on it.
"Oh my goodness," she said when abc24.com told her.
Brown owes about $300. She's owed it for the last year. She's received those letters from the police department.
'I'm going to pay eventually," she says. "But right now I just haven't had the money."
And Mississippi cops like Boisseau can't collect the money in Memphis where Brown and more than half of her fellow offenders live.
"We can't, as Mississippi officers, cross that (state) line and knock on the door and say 'H,ey come pay your fine.' Legally we couldn't do that," Boisseau says.
But we can. We knocked on Brown's door and about half a dozen others. What we found proves how difficult it can be.
Tasha Boyd's house in South Memphis is abandoned and boarded up. Jermaine Dandridge listed his grandmother's address. At Alvin Pughes' home, we were told he didn't know about the warrant.
"The majority of these people know they have a warrant," Boisseau says. "For some it slips up on them, but most of these people we have sent letters."
And going back to being nice guys, Boisseau says he doesn't even want to arrest the offenders. He just wants to see them pay their fine.
"If they see their name on there and say 'Ooh I've messed up, I should pay that,' we'll work with them."
Boisseau says the city will waive court costs and other fees to bring the fines down to the bare minimum.
The warrants have been posted online for two weeks. Police have received a few tips on where people live, but so far no money.