Man flees during police investigation

September 26, 2006

Investigators are looking for a fugitive who escaped during an undercover sting.

They say 30-year-old Dwayne A. Langford was helping police as an informant when he stole an SUV from Aiken Public Safety.

Using informants like Langford is an important part of solving crime. Informants sometimes play a major role in helping officers break up crime rings.

But with the good can come the bad.

Authorities say an Aiken County investigator was standing in front of the Riverfront Antique Mall in North Augusta when an Aiken Public Safety officer was transporting Langford in an undercover Cadillac Escalade.

Investigators say Langford was hiding in the backseat so he wouldn't be spotted.

The officer got out to sign paperwork, and that's when Langford jumped into the front seat and drove off.

The SUV was found in downtown Augusta at 11th and Broad, but Langford wasn't. He is still out there.

Despite what happened, Aiken Public Safety says using informants is crucial.

"In this case, you've got informants willing to make multiple buys from multiple sources, so that can lead to bigger and bigger fish," said Lt. David Turno of Aiken Public Safety. "You work from the street crimes to the larger dealers."

Lt. Turno says just about any officer can use informants, meaning hundreds of them are working in Aiken County.

In exchange for their help, the informants facing charges can get those charges reduced.

Authorities seize everything from drugs and cash to office supplies.

The money goes to help buy more weapons and surveillance equipment for officers.

Langford is still wanted by Aiken Public Safety. He is described as a 30-year-old black male, 5’ 8”, weighing 228 pounds. He has black hair with braids and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

If you've seen him, contact local law enforcement.