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FBI Takes Out LA Billboards To Catch Suspected Child Predator

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(credit: CBS) Serene Branson
Serene is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and the recipient of...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The FBI is going after a suspected child predator, who may be in Los Angeles, by plastering his face across local billboards.

John Hartin is wanted for allegedly raping two boys when he was 18 years old, working as a security guard in Boston. The boys were eight and nine years old at the time.

Officials say Hartin fled Boston and has been on the lam for nearly 20 years.

Authorities suspect Hartin may have had cause to move out to the City Of Angels.

Serene Branson, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, says the FBI used enhanced age progression to simulate what Hartin, now 42, may look like.

More than 80 moving billboards have been saturated with his photos and reward information.

Digital billboard announcements have led to the apprehension of 42 fugitives nationwide.

He wouldn’t be the first fugitive hailing from Boston to move to L.A.

Last year, wanted crime boss James Whitey Bulger was found living in Santa Monica after an FBI public service announcement profiled his girlfriend.

In this case, the ad space was donated by ClearChannel Communications. Similar billboards about Hartin have been running in Tampa, Boston and Orlando.

FBI agents say they fear Hartin may not just be hiding out — he’s still a real threat.

“Statistics have shown individuals who molest children are repeat offenders,” said FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Hartin. Anyone with information was asked to call the FBI.

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