Crime Stoppers wants you - to help solve crimes and earn a little cash in the process.
Crime Stoppers is a national crime fighting organization that first came to Somervell County in 1990. The group is part of the Sheriff’s department and includes a seven-person board.
Mickey Garret, Somervell County Crime Stoppers coordinator, said board members are county residents and active members of the community.
“If someone wants to join the board, they can come to the Sheriff’s office and pick up a pamphlet and fill out an application,” Garret said. “Then I run a background check to make sure they aren’t wanted anywhere.”
Garret said they try to choose board members that will represent a wide cross section of the community. Members can be business owners, accountants, administrators, contractors, or just about anything. Right now, all board positions are filled.
The Somervell Crime Stoppers has paid out more than $6,000 since 1990. As tips come in, the board sets the reward amount. Garret said paid amounts vary and depend on the type of case and the information the tipster gives.
“It really depends on the case,” Garret said. “Most of the tips come from crooks snitching on other crooks.”
Most of the time, rewards are paid once a suspect is convicted, but that is not always the case.
“If I’ve got someone with good information that wants to be paid before, then I’ll take it to the board and let them decide,” Garret said.
Garret said the last Crime Stopper tip came when the courthouse annex was broken into and vandalized. Tips from Crime Stoppers tipsters helped catch and convict the assailants.
Garret encourages anyone who thinks they may have information about a crime to call the hotline at (254) 897-7777. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.