Vernon-Wilbarger County Crime Stoppers stress importance of community tips
VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - Volunteers living in Wilbarger County are helping fight crime one tip at a time with the Vernon-Wilbarger County Crime Stoppers organization. 18 volunteers are working alongside Wilbarger law enforcement agencies, including the Vernon Police Department and Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office, to put criminals behind bars.
The Vernon Crime Stoppers volunteers could see tips coming from the 11,000 residents that live in Wilbarger County.
“There‘s a lot of people that have information on these crimes that happen that won’t just openly talk to the police and this gives them an avenue where they can,” Captain Wayne Hodges, with the Vernon Police Department, said.
Wilbarger County Sheriff Brian Fritze, Deputy Clinton Nava, and Captain Hodges all said tips that have come from the Vernon Crime Stoppers Organization have helped them get that much closer to solving crimes in their communities.
“Those people get together a lot of times, they will more or less snitch on somebody, especially if there is a monetary value involved,” Fritze said.
“People may be aware of something and not know what to do with the information, but with crime stoppers, they can make an anonymous call, give the tip, and if it leads to an arrest in a felony crime, then they can receive a reward of up to a thousand dollars,” Marylin Leasure, secretary of the Vernon - Wilbarger County Crime Stoppers, said.
For each crime tip, you could receive a minimum of $100 if it leads to a suspect and up to $1,000 if the suspect is convicted of a felony.
Whether it be a tip about car burglaries, shootings that may have taken place in the streets of Vernon, or even criminals seeking metals or farm equipment in the backroads of Wilbarger County, authorities said, crime never sleeps.
“The county has over 900 square miles that we have to patrol and it’s all rural dirt roads and just with the eight deputies we have, that’s a lot of mileage per deputy,” Deputy Clinton Nava, with the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Volunteers in the Vernon-Wilbarger County Crime Stoppers and authorities are urging residents to say something if they see a crime taking place in their communities as soon as possible.
“We’re working a case now where large construction equipment was stolen out in the county. It’s over a year old, but we’re still having tips come in, but when we’re following it up, we’re already about a month or two behind,” said Nava.
To report a tip you can do so through an app called P3 Tips, the organization’s Facebook page, or by simply making a phone call at (940) 552-5011. There have been only two tips reported to the organization so far for the month of January.
“You are given a case number and you need to write that down and remember it because that is your identification,” Leasure said. “You will call back in about a week with your case number and check on the progress. We’re doing this because we want our community to be safe and we love Vernon.”
Leasure said while they have multiple fundraisers throughout the year, you can always help donate to the rewards they give out for information at the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office and Vernon Police Department.
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