Crime Tips Increase Due To Bad Economy - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Crime Tips Increase Due To Bad Economy

Anton Irvin Anton Irvin
Tony Irvin Tony Irvin
Angela Irvin Angela Irvin
Jim Lambert, Metro detective Jim Lambert, Metro detective

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tough economic times may be having an unexpected positive impact on crime. 

Tips to Nashville Crime Stoppers are up and police think the sluggish economy is the reason. One family hopes tough times will help solve the murder of their loved one.

In an economy slowed down by high gasoline prices and record home foreclosures a little extra cash would come in handy.

Metro police think that's why they're seeing a big surge in tips to Crime Stoppers.

"Several people have mentioned the fact that they need money. I even had one caller call in and say, ‘You know, normally I'm not a snitch, but I need the money,'" said Metro detective Jim Lambert.

During the first three months of 2007, Crime Stoppers received 283 phone calls. This year, operators have answered 431 calls. That is an increase of 52 percent.

"We're hoping that is a big motivator," said Angela Irvin.

She hopes one of those calls will lead police to the persons who killed her oldest son, Anton Irvin. He was shot to death in Hadley Park in March after celebrating his 23rd birthday.

Police believe the suspect's car was maroon and had tinted windows. A tip to Crime Stoppers could be worth up to $1,000.

"And sometimes by the way the economy is, it is something that somebody is looking into to either feed their children or pay bills, so we're hoping that is something someone is thinking about," Irvin said.

She said it doesn't matter if the phone call to Crime Stoppers is based on greed and not need.

She and her other sons really miss him.

"Words really can't explain how you feel about somebody who you really cared about," said Tony Irvin, Anton Irvin's brother.

"And he also would open doors for me and help me with my groceries, so it's been difficult," Angela Irvin said.

She knows nothing will bring her son back, but if a struggling economy helps police solve the murder something good will come out of these tough times.

Despite the economy, hundreds of people have not collected their reward money. About $75,000 remains unclaimed. To get the reward money, callers have to have their code and tell police a little about the case they helped solve.

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