From press & staff reports
After many delays and decisions, the Winston County Crimestoppers program is in operation and ready for calls.
Over a year in the making, the Winston County Crimestoppers program hopes to help law enforcement agencies solve more crimes. Their mission is to solve and prevent serious crime in partnership with citizens, media and the criminal justice system. CrimeStoppers uses an assessment fee on every ticket to fund the program and the rewards for tips on cases. The program is of no cost to the city and county.
An earlier issue of control of the program was one of the reasons for its delay. The city had previously been a part of the Golden Triangle CrimeStoppers, but with the formation of a local chapter felt it could be more effective working with the county. Now with both city and county being involved, the program is now a reality and looks to enhance the quality of life in the county.
The Crimestoppers program provides a method of involving citizens in helping solving crimes by sharing their knowledge relating to a specific crime. The program encourages, either through civic or monetary reasons, to come forward to police and relay that information. The program also allows participants to remain totally and completely anonymous if they desire. The organization aims to provide a safe forum for citizens to report crime in their neighborhoods without the fear of retaliation.
When a tip is called in, the person will be given a tip number. The tip number can be used at a later date by calling the tip line and supplying the operator with the number. The operator will then tell if your tip led to an arrest.
The Winston County Crimestoppers are asking with the community’s help in the May 28 fraud robbery of a convenience store in the Louisville. Around 6:30 p.m. on that date, three males entered the store and performed a “quick change scam”, involving distracting the cahier while they are giving change. The three male suspects were able to obtain several hundred dollars before leaving the scene in a white Dodge Charger.
Also, Crimestoppers would like the community to be aware of a rash of Green Dot card scams in the Louisville area. In the scam persons are told they have won money and prizes but to collect they must purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card and provide the number to the company- the scammers.
The Winston County Sheriff’s Department offers some basic tips to help keep you from becoming a victim of these or similar scams:
NEVER reply to an email, pop-up, telephone or text message that asks for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies WILL NOT ask for this information.
ALWAYS contact the organization using a telephone number you know to be correct if you are concerned about your account. Do not call or text the number left in the message, and NEVER follow an internet link to a site.
ALWAYS keep your anti-virus software up to date. In addition, use a firewall, which helps to make you invisible on the Internet and blocks communication from unauthorized sources.
BE CAUTIOUS about opening attachments or downloading files from emails you receive, regardless of the sender. Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of this scam or any other, should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.
If you have any information regarding any of these crimes, or any other crime, contact Winston County Crimestoppers at 662-773-9999. You can also visit their website at www.winstoncountycrimestoppers.com.