By Dave Madden and Alexandria Hoff
WOODBURY, NJ (CBS) — It happens twice a year. New Jersey targets parents across the state who are behind in child support payments.
The latest raids were conducted last week.
Between Burlington, Gloucester and Camden Counties nearly 400 people were arrested April 4-6 for failing to pay child support.
“He knows how it is. He knows he doesn’t help out. It’s a shame you know?”
The shame, according to Sharon Perro of Camden, is that her 12-year-old son is disappointed in his own father for not paying child support.
“The parent who is not receiving the child support is doing the work while the other parent is not doing anything really,” she added.
That’s where someone like Travis Ash comes in.
“My favorite excuse? I was going to pay. I was on my way to pay,“ said Ash, an investigator with the Camden County Sherriff’s office.
In Camden County alone, 1,000 parents were investigated and 267 arrests were made in this month’s sweep.
“There’s not just deadbeat fathers. There’s a lot of deadbeat mothers as well not taking care of their children and a lot of men who are taking care of children without the help of the mother,” added Ash.
He says that while investigating parents for non-payment crimes, social media has become an easy way for his office to zero in on those who avoid child payments in order to spend lavishly in other ways.
“Sometimes we will see individuals on Facebook or Snapchat showing different things–showing stacks and stacks of money when they are supposed to be broke,” said Ash.
In Gloucester County more than 80 people were arrested.
“We had 83 physical arrests but total warrants executed were 157,” Gloucester County Undersheriff Andre Bay told KYW Newsradio. “A lot of those people walked in afterwards and turned themselves into probation with some money.”
The roundup netted just under $26,000 from deadbeat parents in the county. But in many cases payment arrangements were made.
“Some folks may be working and if we were to lock them up and say pay the full amount, now they lose their job and they have no means to pay anything,” Bay added.
But more than 100 others eluded authorities this time around. Bay says that’s OK, because they’ll keep looking.
Statewide figures were not immediately available.