Citizens are being rewarded for helping to solve crimes

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Compared to last year, Crimestoppers has more than doubled the amount of money that they've rewarded to the public.

Jamie Yelverton, Assistant District Attorney, and Crimestoppers President stated, "People are finally finding out they can do good for the community and at the same time we can maybe get paid some money."

In 2008, Crimestoppers rewarded the public with $2,150.00 based on 175 tips called in to help catch criminals, and not even halfway through 2009, Crimestoppers has already rewarded the public with $4,500.00 based on 93 tips. Possible reasons for this increase include media coverage like Crimestoppers' commercials.

Yelverton added, "I think that has a lot to do with it, and we have the money available for a good tip, for people to get paid the money."

KPLC-TV and other local media outlets are helping to get the word out about Crimestoppers.

Sgt. Mark Kraus of the Lake Charles Police Department said, "Every news article that we do with KPLC or any news organization, we tag that line with, if you have information call Crimestoppers at 439-2222. We are paying cash for crimes that are solved, we have done so for a long time, it's just now we have a broader range of avenues and media coverage that are covering it."

Another reason for more anonymous calls could be the poor economy.

Yelverton continued, "Being the way it is, that probably helps people to be more aware of their surroundings to where they can do the community good and get paid money for the tips they offer."

Kraus stated, "The people of our community shape the safety of our city so when people get involved and report crimes through anonymous tips like Crimestoppers, then it gives our detectives and police agencies an opportunity to seize that information and hopefully close cases as a result.

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