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Crimestoppers restarts old program

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LAWTON Okla_ Lawton police and Crimestoppers have revived an old tips program.

After eight unsolved homicides and a plea from the community, the Crimestoppers program will soon have a more visible presence in Lawton.

This week, Lawton Crimestoppers restarted its partnership with the local media, spotlighting unsolved crimes to the public. Crimestoppers hopes to drum up new leads, especially in Lawton's eight unsolved homicides this year.

"The community becomes more afraid of going to the store and they don't feel safe," Lawton Police Detective Jason Roberts said. "As we start to have more homicides or more that may or may not be solved, it's a snowball effect and I think it creates a bit of a small panic."

Roberts said while these murder victims can no longer speak for themselves and tell police what happened, there are people who can.

"The police department can't do it on it's own. Citizens are of the most importance we are not there 24/7 on the streets. We don't see the crime happen most of the time, citizens are there and we need that information."

Roberts said Police know that information is out there, but getting those people to come forward to share their information is challenging. That's where Crimestoppers comes in.

"It gives us that avenue for them to feel safe to come forward, so that information they give won't be used in court or against them for retaliation."

Contacting Crimestoppers is simple, and your identity will always remain anonymous. You can share your tip by logging onto your computer, picking up your phone and now you can even text it.

"I think a lot of the younger culture they don't necessarily like to talk to someone specifically they like to test someone," Roberts said. "There's no emotion there, no contact there, so it makes them feel more anonymous."

If your tip leads to a felony arrest, you'll be given a cash reward. All while remaining anonymous.

"I was a narcotics detective for three years," Roberts said. "And I think most of them, even though we are not developing a tip or information from the citizens, their first response is ‘someone ratted me out' or ‘someone rolled over on me', so they expect that regardless of how the information was given to us to solve the crime."

Roberts said until these homicides are solved, Crimestoppers and police will continue to work with the media, reminding the public of the victims' stories.

"Maybe they've pushed that to the side and said ‘I'm not going to come forward', but they see that picture again and hear the message. It could push them over the edge and they decide ‘you know what, I've had enough I'm going to say something."

He said with the community and police working together, they stand a better chance of putting killers or any other criminals behind bars.

"When they think or they know that anybody may be watching them at any given time, and that the chance of them getting away with that crime is few and far between, it'll make them think twice about committing that crime."

If  you have any information regarding any crimes you call

Crimestoppers anonymously at 355-info or you can even text the word "bust" to the number 274637, which spells "crimes" along with your tip. 

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