Archive for September 19th, 2016

Operation Game Thief

Monday, September 19th, 2016
Game Warden on the trail of a poacher.

Game Warden on the trail of a violator.

This is Passport to Texas

Operation Game Thief is a wildlife crime-stoppers program instituted in 1981 by the 67th legislature.

[OGT’s] primary focus was to be able to offer cash rewards up to $1000 for information leading to [the] arrest and conviction of violators of Texas’ fish and wildlife laws, therefore, helping our game wardens in the law enforcement division [better deter poaching].

Lieutenant Lewis Rather is Operation Game Thief Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says they receive about 15-hundred calls a year.

[It’s been] a very successful way to report our violations. Game Wardens have made many cases due to Operation Game Thief.

When an anonymous citizen tip leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of a wildlife crime, the caller receives up to a thousand dollar reward. But, Lt. Rather says not everyone takes it.

A lot of callers say, ‘I don’t want the reward, I just want you guys to go out and catch ‘em.’ That’s what our focus. Let’s get the information in as quick as we can, and get it to the game warden as fast as we can—which now we do electronically. And catch the violators.

The Operation Game Thief number to call if you spot a wildlife violation is 800.792.GAME. That’s 800.792.4263.

Tomorrow, the information that’s important to share when reporting a wildlife violation.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.