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      Look out fugitives, Amarillo Crime Stoppers packs a punch

      If you witnessed a crime... what would you do? Amarillo Crime Stoppers hopes you'd report it.

      In fact, Crime Stoppers relies on tips from the community to help find fugitives and solve crimes.

      "Crime Stoppers is set up as an anonymous way for people to give information for people to help solve unsolved crimes or help find fugitives," said Cpl. Sean Slover for Amarillo Crime Stoppers.

      Anyone can submit a tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 374-4400, texting it to Crime Stoppers using the same number and beginning the text with ACS or even by submitting a tip online at amapolice.org. Every tip will always remain anonymous, Cpl. Slover said, that way people can do good without worrying about getting tied up in legal situations.

      "They have information and want to stay anonymous but didn't get to get caught in the legal stuff, going to testify and things like that," he said. "We don't get an email address or anything like that. All we have is a web tip number to go with it."

      But just how effective is Crime Stoppers and the its Crime of the Week or Weekly Fugitive? According to new numbers from the organization, very effective.

      "About one third of the tips we receive on fugitives typically lead to an arrest," reported Cpl. Slover. "So just for the month of June we've had eight tips on just fugitives along, three were arrested and we cleared four cases."

      As of Thursday, June 14, 2012, Crime Stoppers had arrested 49 fugitives since the start of the year and cleared 22 cases. That's thanks to the 172 tips sent in by the community. Crime Stoppers also offers a money reward to people who submit tips that lead to an arrest or the solving of a crime, but according to folks in Amarillo -- the money is nice, but not necessary.

      "You'd hope that somebody else would help you out if that was happening to you," said Amarillo resident Gabe Irving.

      "I think that most people who would call Crime Stoppers may not care about that," added Amarillo local Ashby Dawson. "They're more concerned about their welfare and well-being than actually receiving cash. The people of Amarillo are always willing to do people a favor as long as it's for the good of everybody."

      Crime Stoppers numbers agree. Also to date this year, only 56 percent of useful tip-submitters had actually been rewarded and not because Crime Stoppers didn't offer to pay.

      "People call back and they don't want a reward," explained Cpl. Slover. "They just want the satisfaction of knowing that that person was caught, that crime was solved."

      Now, that's what you call fighting crime in The Panhandle Spirit.