UPDATED 03/13/2018 – Computer Crime SOLVED
An anonymous tip correctly identified the thief seen in yesterday's Crime of the Week video from Crime Stoppers. The video, from Sam's Club in Lufkin, showed a man stealing more than $3,500 worth of computers and video equipment by tricking employees into believing he was returning the merchandise. Although the man has been identified, an arrest has not yet been made, so, at the time of this update, Crime Stoppers does not have a name to release.
If you submitted a tip to Crime Stoppers regarding this case, follow the tip follow up instructions you received, click the "Tip Follow Up" button above, or use Crime Stoppers' app (639TIPS.com/app) to check your reward eligibility. Only calls and tips DIRECTLY to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and only the first, most accurate anonymous tip is eligible for a reward.
Crime Stoppers is trying to identify a man who stole computers from Sam's Club in Lufkin by tricking employees into believing he was returning the merchandise.
According to the police report, the unidentified white male thief filled a shopping cart with more than $3,500 worth of computers and video equipment and went to the automotive service area. When he thought the employee monitoring the exit door was distracted helping customers, he tried to leave. The employee asked for his receipt and he indicated he was still shopping before going to see the employee at the entrance door. He convinced that employee that he was returning the items in his cart and she marked everything as returns and directed him to the customer service desk.
When the thief appeared back at the exit door with the merchandise marked as returns, he told the employee he had decided not to go through with the return and left with the stolen items. Moments after he left, the two employees realized what happened but they reached the parking lot too late to stop him. They believe the thief drove away in a white, extended-cab Toyota truck.
Video from the store, portions of which are included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS, show the thief wearing a black, hooded jacket, a white, Under Armour brand baseball cap, and a silver cross pendant on a thick silver necklace.
03/05/2018 – Repeat
Some criminals want to be caught, returning to the scene and repeating their crimes, and you might be able to help one reach his goal.
At Christmas, Crime Stoppers showed you a burglary of a doctor's office in the professional building of CHI St. Luke's Health-Memorial in Lufkin. The burglar climbed through a reception desk window and stole Christmas gifts and nearly $7,000 but they kept their face well covered.
That crime was not solved and the burglar struck again February 10. Video shows what likely is the same person climbing through the same window, rummaging through the office, and stealing a bank deposit bag and cashbox. This time, however, the burglar failed to fully cover his face throughout the crime.
When entering the hospital and while searching the darkened areas of the doctor's office, the burglar had the hood of his sweatshirt up but not covering his face. Before entering the illuminated areas of the office, the burglar covered his face with a t-shirt. The burglar appears to be a young, black male and the video should be enough for an anonymous tipster to identify him and claim a reward.
Video of the burglaries is included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS.
If you can identify the burglar, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
02/26/2018 – Probation Warrants
East Texas law enforcement officers are looking for several people wanted on probation warrants and you might be eligible for a cash reward if you submit an anonymous tip that helps officers make an arrest. The reward offer exists whether Crime Stoppers profiled a person's felony warrants, or not, but as of February 26, 2018, two men are on the radar.
Both men were convicted and sentenced to probation, violated the terms of their probation, and are wanted on felony revocation of probation warrants.
- Darren Dewayne Thomas, 26 of Lufkin, possessing a controlled substance (state jail felony)
- Kirby Lewis Stark III, 51 of Lufkin, Driving While Intoxicated with two or more prior convictions (third degree felony)
The listed warrant information was correct when published but may change before being read. Warrants must be verified before arrest. NEVER attempt to apprehend any suspect yourself; doing so may be dangerous and Crime Stoppers will not pay a reward to anyone involved in such action.
If you know the current location of a wanted felon in Angelina County, Houston County, or Trinity County, click one of the Tip buttons on this page, use Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips regarding any wanted felon in the Deep East Texas area. If you call (936) 639-TIPS, click one of the Tip buttons on this page, or use Crime Stoppers' app, you will be known only by a randomized tip number. Anonymity is not Crime Stoppers' promise—IT'S THE LAW. To further ensure a tipster's identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips; tipsters who identify themselves are not eligible for payment.
02/12/2018 – Mobile Banking
January 30, a stolen dump truck and telehandler were used to steal an automated teller machine from a Lufkin bank. The dump truck, telehandler, and the ATM were recovered but investigators have not identified the thieves.
The dump truck and the telehandler (a forklift with an extendable lift arm) were stolen from separate locations in Lufkin and then driven to Regions Bank, located at 704 South John Redditt Drive. The thieves arrived at the bank just before 6:00 AM and used the arm of the telehandler to destroy the outer casing of an ATM in the bank's drive through and to lift the ATM cashbox into the bed of the dump truck.
The telehandler, which police say had been "hotwired", was left at the bank and the stolen dump truck and ATM were recovered from an area off College Drive, behind the Angelina College baseball field. It appears that the thieves stole a trackhoe from a nearby construction site and used it at the baseball field to break open the ATM cashbox.
Although the exact amount of money stolen has not been released, considering the damage caused and money stolen, the total cost of the crime likely exceeds $150,000.
Investigators collected video from businesses in the area of the theft and along the path the thieves took. Portions of those videos are included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS.
If you can identify the thieves, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
02/06/2018 – EZ Stop Robbery
Crockett Police Department is investigating a robbery and Crime Stoppers has reward money available to encourage someone to anonymously help solve the crime.
The robbery occurred January 24 at EZ Stop on West Goliad Avenue in Crockett. Video from the store shows two, unidentified criminals armed with handguns entering the store at 9:50 PM.
The first one through the door was described as having a slender build, wearing black pants and a dark-color hoodie, and carrying a backpack (black with white trim). The other one is headier than the first and was wearing a black hoodie and grey sweat pants. Both appear to have something red, possibly bandanas, covering there faces, and to be wearing light-colored gloves
Both criminals displayed handguns. While one ordered an employee to put all the money from the cash register and drop safe into the backpack, the other guarded a second employee. A vehicle was not seen; they were on foot. They took cash but the amount has not been released.
A portion of the store's video is included here and posted at facebook.com/639tips. The segment of video Crime Stoppers received is short and the suspect's faces are well covered but crimes don't occur in a vacuum, someone always knows who was involved. In this case, at least two people (the criminals themselves) know who did it and they each likely told someone else, and those people told someone, and so on. By now, several people know who committed this crime and Crime Stoppers wants to pay a reward, in cash, to the first, most accurate anonymous tip that identifies the robbers and provides enough information to help investigators make arrests.
If you can identify the robbers, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
01/22/2018 – Safe Crime
UPDATE: Angelina County Sheriff's Office located the suspect vehicle in this case and recovered the stolen safe but the suspects have not yet been identified.
We should be able to leave our homes and vehicle unlocked and not have to worry about being victimized. We should be able to do that, but we can't. Since the criminals who live among us continually steal, locking our doors has become habit. When locks are not enough, we secure our belongings in safes but even that was not enough to stop one group of criminals from getting what they wanted.
October 30, at Petty's Motel on North Timberland Drive in Lufkin, five thieves stole a safe from an apartment attached to the motel's office. The crime was captured on video but investigators have been unable to identify the criminals or locate the vehicle they drove. Crime Stoppers included portions of the video here, and posted it at facebook.com/639TIPS, and we're offering a reward for the first, most accurate anonymous tip that helps investigators put the criminals in jail.
The thieves, four women and one man all described by a witness as “middle easterners”, drove a white Mercedes-Benz, a 1995-2002 model E230. When they arrived at the motel, two women distracted the employee by requesting to see the motel rooms. While they were away, the other women searched through the office and attached apartment looking for anything of value to steal. When they found their prize, the man helped them drag it to their car where it was crammed into the backseat. With the employee approaching, the thieves stuffed themselves into the car and drove away.
The safe was recovered five days later in Angelina County but the cash, checks, and jewelry were missing from it. Angelina County Sheriff's Office also located the suspects' vehicle abandoned on a logging road near River Crest but the suspects have not yet been identified.
If you can identify the criminals, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
01/17/2018 – Ruger Theft
Angelina County Sheriff’s Office investigators need help solving a vehicle burglary that resulted in the theft of two guns.
January 14, a vehicle parked on Sid Love Road (west of Lufkin, off John Kolb Road) was entered and two rifles were stolen from it. The burglar(s) have not yet been identified but they stole:
- a Ruger 30.06 with a camouflage-pattern stock and a Bushnell scope, and
- a Ruger M77 Mark II 25.06 with a wooded stock and a BSA scope.
If you can identify the burglars or know the location of the stole guns, click the “Solve This” button below, use Crime Stoppers’ app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Crime Stoppers may pay a reward for the first, most accurate anonymous tip that leads to an arrest or the recovery of the stolen guns.
You might see other requests for help solving this case and locating the guns but it is important to remember that ONLY tips and calls DIRECTLY TO CRIME STOPPERS are anonymous. Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement. Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.
01/15/2018 – No Limit
Darrence Kindle, a 31-year-old Lufkinite, was murdered November 03 and his killer has not been identified.
Darrence had stopped at Dollar General on Kurth Drive in Lufkin for cigarettes; something he did on a regular basis. Before completing his purchase he was murdered by a masked man attempting to rob the store. Four seconds after entering the store, the masked-robber fired a single shot, striking Darrence’s head. Video of the murder shows that the killer didn’t flinch as the shot was fired or when Darrence fell to the floor. Instead, he turned his attention and gun to the store clerk. Because Darrence's debit card transaction was still in progress, the clerk was unable to open the register and meet the killer's repeated demands for money. After fiddling with his handgun in an apparent attempt to figure out how to shoot the clerk, the killer rummaged through Darrence's pocket and fled on foot from the store.
The murderer wore a mask, a hood, and gloves so investigators knew forensic science alone would not solve the crime. They turned immediately to the community, asking anyone with information that might help the investigation to get involved or to contact Crime Stoppers. Multiple social media posts and information releases explained that calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous, so information can be provided without fear of retaliation, and that anonymously-provided information that leads to the murderer's arrest would be eligible for a reward.
Recently, some have suggested the offered reward be increased but Crime Stoppers did not put a limit on the reward amount for crime-solving information regarding Darrence's murder.
Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization run by a board of directors, none of whom are law enforcement officers, who volunteer their time to the crime solving and crime prevention program. The amount of all Crime Stoppers rewards, whether for a felony theft, a wanted felon, or a murder, are determined by the board of directors and based on several factors, including; the type of crime(s) solved, the number of persons arrested, and the investigatory value of the information provided. Regardless of the size of the reward authorized, many tipsters choose not to collect their reward, seeing Crime Stoppers as a means of doing their civic duty without becoming openly involved in an investigation.
Crimes occur everyday and, for most of us, life goes on. Unless you're directly connected to a crime, your memory of it fades. You might forget about it entirely or remember it as being less severe than it was. For the victims and their families, and the investigating law enforcement personnel, the memory of the crime remains long after everyone else has moved on. This is particularly true for unsolved crimes, like the murder of Darrence Kindle.
If you have information that might help this investigation and bring closure to a grieving family, contact Crime Stoppers. Whether for a reward or out of a sense civic duty, do your part to get a killer off the street.
Video of the crime is included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS. Someone knows who committed this crime and that person can submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or calling (936) 639-TIPS.
01/08/2018 – Anti-Santa
Newton told us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Although he was discussing force and motion, the same principle seems to apply to other interactions. Take, for instance, this week's Crime of the Week case; physicians strive to do no harm so criminals do only harm.
The crime, a burglary involving the theft of Christmas gifts and cash, occurred Christmas Day at a doctor's office in the professional building of CHI St. Luke's Health-Memorial in Lufkin. Video from the hospital shows a burglar entering the doctor's office by climbing through a window at the reception desk. Office staff did not detect any medications missing but three bottles of liquor were taken from Christmas gifts left in the office and bank deposits, totaling nearly $7,000, were stolen.
The video from the hospital lobby, included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS, shows the burglar wearing a dark gray hoodie, a black or gray toboggan, blue jeans, and gray and black tennis shoes. Video from inside the doctor's office shows him crawling through the reception window, searching the office, and filling a backpack with the stolen property and cash.
He had the hood of his sweatshirt pulled tightly around his face but someone will recognize him and use Crime Stoppers to anonymously identify him. If you can identify the burglar, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
01/01/2018 – Holiday Hoodlums
For the last few months, while the rest of us were filling the stores doing our Christmas shopping, criminals all over have used the crowds and busy employees to their advantage, stealing everything they could carry. Investigators need help identifying two such thieves.
The hoodlums were captured on video stealing an armload of clothes from Belk in Lufkin. The video, included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS, does not provide a clear image of either suspect but it, along with the descriptions provided by employees, will be enough for someone to identify them.
The thieves were described in the police report as a heavyset black female and a black male in their late 20s. The woman had long hair and was wearing a gray Nike hoodie and gray sweatpants. The man had a beard and wore all black clothing. The two entered the store separately and lingered in the Polo section of the men's department; the woman even spoke about the clothes with an employee.
The man left the store, apparently empty-handed, on his own and drove their vehicle to the front door of the store. A minute later, the woman ran to the car with at least five sets of Polo brand sweatsuits and jumped into the waiting car. The two were last seen speeding away northbound on the feeder road of Highway 59 (South First Street). Employees described the vehicle as a black Jaguar.
If you can identify the thieves, submit a tip by clicking the "Solve This" button below, using Crime Stoppers' app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
12/04/2017 – Wire Theft
Someone caused $100,000 in damage to Pine Valley Raceway and Crime Stoppers wants to reward the anonymous tipster who helps solve the case.
November 29, Angelina County Sheriff's Deputies received a report of damage to light poles at the racetrack, located on FM 2497. Photos of the damage show that criminals opened ten light poles and cut the wiring inside each but the photos don't tell the whole story. The copper wire connecting the ten poles was pulled from conduits and stolen, leaving the racetrack's owner to deal with repairing the damage and replacing the several thousand feet of wire.
Although it is possible this was a targeted attack on the racetrack, greed and drug use usually are the reason this type crime. Copper wire, once stripped from its casing, is a valuable metal and it has become commonplace for drug users to steal it from homes, businesses, construction sites, and, in this case, from functioning utility poles.
Crime impacts all of us and someone always knows who was involved. If you have information regarding this crime, don't wait for the criminal to turn you into a victim. Submit a Crime Stoppers tip that helps investigators make an arrest and prevent future crimes.
If you can identify person, or persons, responsible for this theft and damage, submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers by clicking the "Solve This" button below, downloading Crime Stoppers' mobile app, or by calling (936) 639-TIPS, no one will know who you are.
Texas laws protect Crime Stoppers tipsters; calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. To further ensure a tipster's identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips. Tipsters who identify themselves or provide information directly to law enforcement are not eligible for payment from Crime Stoppers.
Where’s My Reward?
Crime Stoppers uses fees paid by convicted criminals to reward anonymous, crime-solving tips. In Angelina County alone, Crime Stoppers pays about $15,000 in rewards each year but that amount could be greater if all eligible tipsters followed up on their tips.
For crimes occurring in Angelina, Houston, or Trinity County, Crime Stoppers accepts tips by telephone (936-639-TIPS), online (639TIPS.com), and through our app. A software program assigns each tip a number and password so the tipster’s identity is never known. The tip number and password are the only way for Crime Stoppers to locate a tip and pay a reward.
Some tipsters never claim their reward because they mistakenly believe Crime Stoppers will contact them but that is not possible. If you provided information to Crime Stoppers and the information resulted in an arrest, stolen property recovery, or drug seizure, follow the instructions you received when submitting the tip, click one of the Tip Follow Up buttons on this page, or use the Crime Stoppers’ app.
Texas laws protect Crime Stoppers Tipsters. A person may commit a crime if they intentionally or knowingly divulge the identity of a Crime Stoppers Tipster. Crime Stoppers needs the information you have regarding crimes and criminals, not your name. To further ensure a tipster’s identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips; tipsters who identify themselves are not eligible for payment.
The importance of anonymity cannot be overstressed. You will be anonymous unless YOU tell someone that you submitted a Crime Stoppers Tip.
Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement. For each crime only the first, most accurate tip can be rewarded
10/09/2017 – Cash Store Robbery
It’s been nearly two months since two men robbed Cash Store, a loan business on South Timberland Drive in Lufkin, and the suspects have not been caught.
The robbery occurred in the middle of the day August 19 and Crime Stoppers released video of the crime (included here and posted to Facebook) but no one has been able to identify the robbers. The video shows two men, one black and one Hispanic, who spoke to a female employee about the loan process before displaying a handgun and demanding money from a cash register.
With the Hispanic male watching and threatening her, the employee complied with their demands by emptying the register into a sack. The black male turned his attention to a male employee, forcing him at gunpoint to open and empty the safe.
The men fled on foot from the store and crime scene techs have not yet been able to identify them from fingerprints collected at the scene. The employees described the black male as being six feet tall and stocky, with short hair covered by a “doo rag” and said he had some facial hair. He was wearing a maroon shirt and blue jeans. They described the Hispanic male as being five and a half feet tall and skinny, wearing a white t-shirt and black baseball cap.
Investigators have not disclosed how much cash was taken.
Social media comments regarding the video focused on a vehicle parked in front of the business. The only occupant of the vehicle was interviewed; they were not involved in the robbery.
If you can identify either robber, click the “Solve This” button below, use Crime Stoppers’ mobile app, or call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement. Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.
08/21/2017 – Unsolved, Not Forgotten
La’Kendrick Simmons was murdered December 11, 2008, in Trinity, Texas and his killer has not been caught. Someone knows who committed this murder and refusing to help investigators is unacceptable.
With more than 8 years and 8 months passing since La’Kendrick’s death, its hard to know what, exactly, happened that night. Among the few things we know for certain are that a 19-year-old man was shot dead in his girlfriend’s home and his killer has not answered for it.
You never know what piece of information, no matter how small, will help solve a case. Speak up if you have any details regarding the murder of La’Kendrick Simmons. Submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers if you’re afraid of retaliation but do you’re part to get a killer off the street. If you call Crime Stoppers telephone tipline (936-639-TIPS) or use Crime Stoppers’ website (submit a tip) or mobile app, no one will know who you are.
A sense of civic duty, compassion for a mother’s loss, and concern for the community have not led anyone to help solve this case, so Crime Stoppers is offering to pay a reward for the anonymous tip that leads to an arrest in this case.
Texas laws protect Crime Stoppers tipsters; calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. To further ensure a tipster’s identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips. Tipsters who identify themselves or provide information directly to law enforcement are not eligible for payment from Crime Stoppers.
Be a Crime Stoppers
Crimes occur around us everyday. We don’t notice some and we ignore others but crime is a community problem that can only be addressed with the community’s help.
We convince ourselves that, since our coworker’s purse was stolen or our neighbor’s house was burglarized, we have no reason to be involved in addressing the problem. When we have information about a crime, we fear becoming a target by reporting to the police what we know. We fear the public scrutiny or social media backlash that might follow our name being listed in a police report or our testimony in court.
Crime Stoppers exists to assist law enforcement in solving and preventing crimes and accomplishes these tasks by overcoming the apathy and fear that inhibit community involvement. Even if you cannot see how we all suffer the effects of crime, Crime Stoppers’ reward offer can help restore your interest in helping solve a crime. Crime Stoppers addresses the fear barrier by offering you a means to provide crime-solving information without identifying yourself.
Texas laws protect Crime Stoppers tipsters and Crime Stoppers does not know the names of tipsters, so a tipster’s identity can not be revealed to law enforcement.
Many crime-solving tips are generated through this weekly article. While the article usually profiles a specific crime, Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips concerning any crime or wanted felon in Angelina, Houston, or Trinity counties. Without your anonymous tip, a crime might go unsolved. Get involved.
Information provided through Crime Stoppers’ telephone tipline (936-639-TIPS), this website (Submit a Tip), or mobile app is anonymous - no one will ask you for your name or your contact information. An anonymous tip leads to the arrest of a felony offender might be eligible for a reward.
Angelina County Animal Abuse Tips
Crime Stoppers accepts tips on animal cruelty in Angelina County.
The Crime Stoppers board of directors approved an initiative to crack down on animal fighting and pets and livestock being subjected to life-threatening conditions. In order for the system to work, Crime Stoppers Executive Director JB Smith said people have to respect its purpose.
“Crime Stoppers and Animal Control officers can’t do anything about your girlfriend putting costumes on your cat, or about your neighbor not wrapping his Chihuahua in a chinchilla sweater before going out on a 70-degree day,” Detective Smith said. He added that tips regarding “pet parenting” will clog the system and might hinder the process for information about animal-related crimes.
Smith also warned not to use Crime Stoppers to report an in-progress emergency. “Ensuring anonymity”, Smith said, “takes time so, in an emergency, contact law enforcement directly.” He used a pet locked in a hot car as an example of an inappropriate time for submitting a Crime Stoppers tip.
For now, Crime Stoppers can accept animal-related tips for Angelina County cases. Those that occur outside Angelina County will need to be reported the respective law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction.
Animal abuse tips will be treated no differently than traditional Crime Stoppers tips and rewards will be determined using the same guidelines.
If you discover neglected pets or livestock, witness someone abusing animals, or have information that will help stop animal fighting, contact Crime Stoppers by calling 936-639-TIPS, clicking one of the Tip buttons on this page, or using Crime Stoppers’ app. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
Anonymity is not Crime Stoppers’ promise—IT IS THE LAW. To further ensure a tipster’s identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips; tipsters who identify themselves are not eligible for payment.
You’ve heard of Crime Stoppers but what do you know about it? Let’s debunk three misconceptions about the program.
The first, and most common, misconception is that Crime Stoppers is, or is part of, a law enforcement agency. Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization run by a civilian (volunteer) board of directors. The program exists to help law enforcement fight crime but Crime Stoppers does not investigate crimes, make arrests, or accept crime reports from victims.
JB Smith, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Lufkin, said; “when it comes to being a witness or helping the police, some people are fearful or just don’t want to get involved”. He said Crime Stoppers overcomes this by offering cash rewards and guaranteeing anonymity.
Another misconception is that tipsters have to give their name to collect a reward. Smith said this is never the case and that tipsters who do reveal their identity are not eligible for a reward. He stressed that anonymity is more than a promise. “It’s the law,” Smith said, “it can be a crime to reveal the identity of a Crime Stoppers tipster”.
The third misconception is that Crime Stoppers will only accept information concerning crimes profiled by the program. Smith encourages anyone with information regarding any unsolved felony crime or wanted felon to contact Crime Stoppers. He said the program profiles as many crimes as it can but will accept tips about any crime.
If you can provide information concerning an unsolved felony crime or the location of a wanted felon, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click one of the Tip buttons on this page, or use Crime Stoppers’ P3 Tips app. Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
Crime Stoppers has an app for anonymously submitting crime-solving tips from your iOS and Android device.
The P3 Tips app by Anderson Software is available, for free, from the iTunes and Google Play stores. Once installed, you’ll set your location; choosing Angelina, Houston, or Trinity County, or a city within those counties, will bring you to Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers.
To submit an anonymous tip, select an offense type and then add any information you have. Investigators need as much detail as possible. Describe the crime, name the suspect, and answer as many questions as possible. The app even lets you send photos and videos.
Once received and reviewed, Crime Stoppers will respond to you through the app. The process is anonymous, so Crime Stoppers will never know who you are, but you’ll be able to send and receive messages about the crime and possible reward.
The app will provide you a tip number and password for use when updating the tip or collecting a reward.
You can add information to your tip anytime and Crime Stoppers can pass along questions from investigators.
The app is passcode protected to prevent prying eyes from seeing your tip and possible reward. At any time, you can submit new tips, review and update an existing tip, or check the status of a tip or reward.
Crime Stoppers tips are anonymous and Crime Stoppers Tipsters must remain anonymous to be eligible for a reward, so never share your app password or identify yourself in a tip. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for anonymous, crime-solving tips received through the telephone tipline (936-639-TIPS), Crime Stoppers’ website (www.639TIPS.com), and the P3 Tips app.
You have to be quick if you want to be the first to submit a Crime Stoppers tip; a reward can be paid only to the first, most accurate tip we receive.
Crime Stoppers exists to reduce criminal activity by educating the public and providing a way to anonymously assist in identifying criminals. This week, Crime Stoppers wants to educate the public about a common criminal activity in hopes of preventing future occurrences.
The Family Crisis Center of East Texas, a local charity, operates stores in Lufkin through which the sale of donated items provides funds for fulfilling its mission of keeping families safe and free from abuse. When donors drop off items after the stores have closed for the day, the stores are not the only ones who appreciate the after-hours generosity. Regularly, “shoppers” pick through the donations and steal what they want.
The donations left outside the stores are not free for the taking; they are donations to the charity and taking them is theft. The people in the video included here might say they needed charity or that they did not steal but scurrying around when a store is closed is not the act of a person who believes they are within the law.
The Family Crisis Center Thrift Store has not yet sought to file criminal charges regarding the videoed incidents, so Crime Stoppers cannot offer a specific reward for the identification of the actors, but the thefts need to stop. If you know the people in the video, tell them that what they did is a crime. If you witness someone stealing donations from this, or any charity, immediately contact the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.