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How First Coast CrimeStoppers works

4:18 AM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Oftentimes, it is one good tip that can help solve a crime.

Sometimes that tip is given to police in the area, but others may be afraid to talk to police on scene. That's where First Coast CrimeStoppers comes in.

"Very rarely does someone commit a crime in the vacuum. They usually tell someone," said Crime Stoppers Executive Director Wyllie Hodges.

Those are the people CrimeStoppers wants to hear from. Your name is never taken, instead you are given a code number.

"All that we ever know them by is a code number. When you try and call in, if you try and give your name, they won't take it. They will say you are number ... blank-blank-blank," Hodges said.

When you call, your tip doesn't even go to the Jacksonville office. Instead, it goes to a call center in Canada. Then the information is sent to the First Coast Crime Stoppers office.

Callers are given that code number and a Jacksonville phone number to call for weekly updates on whether an arrest was made.

With the recent string of murders and especially in the Amber Bass case and the Missouri Avenue shooting that killed Jazmine Shelton and Megan Simmons, Hodges emphasizes that CrimeStoppers is a safe way to report your tips.

"You've lost nothing by calling and telling us and you may have gained a reward," he said.

Frightened neighbors on Missouri Avenue agree that someone needs to speak up.

"Somebody has got to be talking, somebody knows something, somebody has got to bring justice for those two," said a concerned neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous

Also, award money is given as soon as an arrest is made in a case.  To pick up reward money, CrimeStoppers will tell you what bank to go to and all you have to say is your code number and you will leave with cash.

CrimeStoppers # 1-866-845-TIPS

First Coast News

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