by Victor Lopez
ODESSA-- Susan Rogers with Odessa Crime Stoppers said she started seeing an increase in their calls and web tips about six months ago. That lines up pretty close to the time things started to bottom out with the economy.
"We've gotta make ends meet and this is why we're doing it." Rogers says it seems to be a common response once they've gotten a call, and it seems to be a growing trend.
"Some people get to the point in their life where you've lost your job or whatever the situation has been that you've got to do something and if you know that there's someone out there that's wanted or whatever, it's pretty easy money and we've never burned an informant in the entire history of Crime Stoppers," Rogers explained.
Rogers says information is coming in from all over. And it's not just the Permian Basin. "That's something we're seeing, where someone's in San Antonio is sending us a tip and he knows a guy has been in San Antonio for the last six months, because he's running from a warrant in Ector County."
Tips have come in from as far away as New Mexico and California. Some who have known a person that been wanted for a while are now speaking out. According to Rogers, "Some of the warrants are older warrants. They're not something that is brand new. So it's people that have known people have been wanted for a while and they've decided for whatever reason, it's time to turn them in."
The rewards offered range from $100 to $1,000. Rogers' philosophy is, "It might as well be you who gets the money, if you know who that is because somebody is going to call us and somebody is going to make that money. So it might as well be you."
Rogers says they have a backlog of store surveilence video to sort through. NewsWest 9 and Odessa Crime Stoppers will soon be teaming up on a new segment, giving you a chance to view some of this video in hopes you might recognize someone involved and help track down a criminal.