Callers Helped Police Solve 7,000-Plus Crimes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Callers Helped Police Solve 7,000-Plus Crimes

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Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas
Mike Overcast, Crime Stoppers board chairman Mike Overcast, Crime Stoppers board chairman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Since 1983, anonymous phone calls have helped police solve thousands of crimes in Nashville.

Saturday is the 25th anniversary of Crime Stoppers.

Metro police said a tip to Nashville Crime Stoppers led U.S. Marshals to Jason Bobo. He is accused of killing two employees during a robbery in October at Bellacino's Piiza and Grinders restaurant in West Nashville.

The tip is just one of the thousands called into Crime Stoppers. Over the past 25 years, tips have helped solved crimes.

Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said the Crime Stoppers program is an important part of his crime fighting effort in Nashville.

Last week, he reported a 2 percent reduction in crime.

"We are today reporting our fourth year in a row of crime reduction, but not every neighborhood is safe yet, and our challenge is to make every neighborhood safe and Crime Stoppers is one of the intricate ways we can do that," Serpas said.

Police said the tips have helped them solve more than 7,000 crimes including nearly 200 murders.

The Crime Stoppers Board has paid out nearly $500,000 dollars in reward money.

"Most people don't realize none of this was public money," said Mike Overcast, Crime Stoppers board chairman. "This was all money that was donated by corporations and individuals wanting to get criminals off the streets."

Some of the reward money went to the person who called in a tip when they saw a photograph on NewsChannel 5. Surveillance cameras caught some crimes in progress. When the segments aired along with the Crime Stoppers phone number, the Crime Stoppers office often receives dozens of calls that help police identify suspects.

Serpas said over the next 25 years more people need to contribute money and support the program.

"Because people can call with no fear of identification and give us anonymous information that can be created into the case investigations and clear cases," he said.

The Crime Stoppers program is funded with private money. If anyone would like to make a contribution, click here.

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