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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The latest numbers are in for bad guys put behind bars as a result of Macon Regional Crimestoppers anonymous tip line. They’re encouraging more residents to speak up.
During the month of September Crimestoppers cleared 45 cases, issued warrants for 50 people and made more than 20 arrests..bringing the total number of arrests this year to 243.But they couldn’t do it without the residents who took a chance and shared a tip.
“He said I’ll shoot your right in front of your kids,” said one resident who wanted to remain anonymous.
Officers working with Macon Regional Crimestoppers hear stories like that one every day.
“They call they share with us their stories and it ranges from A-Z,” said Cpl. Greg Thomas.
But they don’t hear it from every person.
“I started to call but then I changed my mind. I don’t know why I did but maybe if I had that child wouldn’t have been dead,” the Baldwin County woman explained.
In many communities talking to investigators comes with consequences.
“Retaliation. It’s sad to say that there are people but that’s when it takes the good people of the community to stand up,” Thomas told 41NBC.
There’s another option for those who fear for their safety.
“People do want to share what they know. Where Crimestoppers differs, we offer total anonymity–total confidentiality,” Thomas
Though the number of tips they get has increased over the last three years, Corporal Greg Thomas says fear is one of the main reasons people don’t report crimes.
“You better not be outside at 9:00. What? Sounds like a threat to me,” the woman said.
Crimestoppers guarantees people who send in tips remain anonymous in every aspect of the process–even getting rewards.
“We give them a tip number and that’s how we identify them. When and if the arrest is made based off of the booking sheets, charges laid warrants served, seized property, seized weapons, we calculate a reward and that’s how they’re paid.”
Whether it means saving a life or bringing a killer to justice, they’re asking residents to continue sending in tips, and witnesses who may be afraid to speak out–to pick up the phone.
Thomas says even the smallest bit of information can help solve a crime. Crimestoppers gives up to a $2,000 cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest.
The number for their hotline is 478-742-2330 or 1-877-68-CRIME.