OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bounty hunters have come under fire in recent months because of grave mistake made by untrained hunters. NewsChannel 4 has followed those mishaps. But, this week we got a front row seat as a local team searched for an accused child molester and a man facing drug charges.
Officials say bounty hunters capture on average about 40,000 suspects a year. That saves tax payers money and takes some of the load off of police.
"We lock up anywhere from 10 - 20 people a week," said Ryan with Pursuit Team. Ryan is a bounty hunter and lead agent with Pursuit Team. When we rode along the team was on a mission to find Kenneth Conner 43, an accused child molester with a long rap sheet.
"When guys go around doing this to kids, we definitely need to keep them off the street and that's why we're going after him so hard," said Ryan.
In court documents, investigators say Conner's victim was a four-year-old girl. Conner is out on bail and missed a court hearing. The team stopped by several homes he's known to visit. He wasn't found at any of those locations.
As the bounty hunters plan their next move they get word about another suspect they've been tracking for weeks. Charles Mansfield 34, who's out on bond facing charges. He too has a long criminal background and failed to show up for court.
We were there when he drove by one of the homes we were told he would be visiting. A lookout warns him about our vehicles outside and he takes off. We stay a safe distance as he hightailed it, he drove erratically and even ran red lights.
Ryan calls Oklahoma City Police for assistance. While on I-35, Mansfield fakes out the agents by letting them think he was getting off at one exit but he haphazardly gets back on the freeway.
Ryan catches up with the vehicle, a few miles later. Mansfield had already ditched the SUV leaving a female acquaintance inside. He shakes everyone by dashing into a residential neighborhood.
Conner and Mansfield both remain on the loose and Pursuit Team is offering a cash reward for information leading to their capture.
If you know their whereabouts call 405.808.5921