For many years, investigative journalist Chris Hansen has been established as someone who's tough on crime. He became famous for his stint hosting the NBC series To Catch a Predator, which documented the arrests of online sex predators through sting operations. Hansen would later host the investigative news series Crime Watch Daily, which concluded its run in 2018. Also the host of the Investigation Discovery series Killer Instinct, it seemed rather clear Hansen was not keen on criminals. Now, the famous newsman is finding himself on the other side of the law, as Hansen was placed under arrest in Stamford, Connecticut, facing a felony charge of his own.
According to the Stamford Police Department, Chris Hansen turned himself in on Monday after a warrant was issued for arrest. Hansen is being charged with larceny for allegedly writing bad checks to a local vendor for promotional items like hats, shirts, and mugs totalling $13,000. After an initial check written to the vendor in the summer of 2017 bounced, the two "went back and forth" until April 2018, when Hansen wrote another check. Like the first one, this check also bounced. This led to law enforcement getting involved, with authorities issuing a warrant for Hansen's arrest after the journalist refused to speak with the police.
Although Hansen has been a reporter since 1981, it was his run on To Catch a Predator that made him most famous. Debuting on NBC in 2004, the show used decoys to lure online predators to a "sting house" wherein they'd meet Hansen and his camera crew. Because the show operated in conjunction with law enforcement, those who arrived would always be arrested after having a chat with Hansen. The show would ultimately come to a controversial end in 2008, when one of the suspects committed suicide after being confronted by the authorities and the news crew. The series continues to air occasionally in syndication, and Hansen's method of telling suspects to "have a seat" remains widely quoted to this day.
In the years since, Hansen would go after other criminals with the spinoff shows To Catch a Con Man and To Catch an I.D. Thief. In 2015, Hansen launched a Kickstarter to revive To Catch a Predator as an online series. Called Hansen vs. Predator, the show was later picked up by Warner Bros. and aired on the news series Crime Watch Daily, which Hansen hosted. Much like before, the show featured men showing up to a house under the presumption they'd be meeting a minor, only to meet Hansen and get a prison sentence instead. Crime Watch Daily ended its run in 2018, which certainly didn't help Hansen's apparent financial issues.
After giving the judge a written promise to appear in court, Hansen was released without bond. Seeing his mugshot is undoubtedly strange, given how many criminals Hansen has helped take down during the course of his journalism career. It isn't yet clear who Hansen's legal representation will be. This information comes to us from NBC.