Crime Watch 8

Increase in Crime Stoppers tips leads to spike in gun seizures

Central Indiana Crime Stoppers says it has seen a sharp increase in the number of guns that anonymous tips helped take off the streets.

The value of taking guns off the streets goes beyond the thousands of dollars worth of seizures local law enforcement made with the help of crime stoppers tips last year.

“You can have one gun and it could be tied to five or six robberies,” Steve DuBois, with Central Indiana Crime Stoppers, said. “You can have one gun that could be tied to a couple of homicides, so every single gun we get off is probably stopping multiple crimes from occurring.”

In the last two years, more guns have been seized by local law enforcement thanks to anonymous tips than the previous 30 years combined, the group said.

165 guns were seized from tips in 2013 as well as 46 more last year, which is a sharp rise from the previous 8 to 12 guns-a-year average.

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Law enforcement officials say the biggest reason for the explosion in gun seizures is a big increase in tips.

“We went from 2,500 tips to over 5,000 tips, so I think it’s just a correlation,” DuBois said. “We’re getting more information and the police departments are working on it.”

DuBois says the big increase in gun seizures comes from raids that stemmed from tips in the donut counties around Indianapolis.

As important as a tip can be, it still takes officers following through to lead to solving the crime.

“I think IMPD has done a tremendous job, especially in their narcotics and violent crimes units of taking our information and using it,” DuBois said. “Sometimes, you can send information to a police department and it just kind of, nothing happens with it. IMPD has been very aggressive in taking the information and working every single tip that we get.”

The gun seizures reflected in these numbers had to be seized in conjunction with a felony arrest. An anonymous tip that leads to a felony arrest can net a minimum $500 reward in Marion County, but that number can be increased and it often is by the Crime Stoppers board.

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