Police say even small tips are important in breaking cases
In the last week, Albany and Dougherty County police have had at least one case each where tips from the community led to arrests.
For Dougherty County police, a tip led to the second arrest in the Paradise Village shooting from December.
"We had a tip about something that was seemingly insignificant and it played an extremely important part in solving this case," says Capt. Jimmy Sexton with DCP. "Without the public's input we would not have been able to solve this case."
Albany police solved a case of their own through a tipster's help. The tip led to the arrest of 26 year old Joshua Jones who is charged with using a gun with a scratched off serial number. Earlier in the week, they didn't even know his identity.
"Sometimes we start off with an incident and we have little to no information and it's kind of tough starting off with a detective having a case with little or no info," says APD Media Manager Phyllis Banks.
This was the case in 2011 when graffiti began showing up in West Albany.
"We had a number of spray painting incidents over in the west district area, someone was going around doing these elaborate paintings on buildings, on business buildings, and they did several buildings. We had a great tip come in and it led to the arrest of two or three suspects," says Banks.
On average, Albany Crime Stoppers receives 130 calls per month through their screening service; if there's a spike in crime, 250 calls. They say in December 2011 they had 117 calls, 20 of which were determined to be valid tips by the screening service.
"We research every tip that comes in. A lot of times we get some great information and detectives follow up with it," says Banks.
Sexton says people see things and don't even realize that the details are important. That's why Albany Crime Stoppers says if you see something, say something; big or small the tip could be the one that breaks the case.
Police say people shouldn't be afraid to call in a tip; they say tipsters are referred to by a number instead of name.
"That's who you become. You become '466545.' You're not known by name, you're known by number and that's how you're able to get your reward," says Banks.
If you have any tips regarding recent criminal activities you're encouraged to call Albany Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS or (229) 436-8477.