Crime Stoppers sees increase in tips, high-profile cases solved

- More people are giving anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers to get dangerous criminals off the streets, according to CMPD.
 
Aldon Lawrence, who was wanted for stabbing 5 people outside a hookah bar in March of last year, was about to hop a flight out of the country, according to CMPD, when someone sent a tip to Crime Stoppers, and detectives say they caught Lawrence at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport with a wad of cash in his pocket.
 
“We were able to intercept, bring that person into custody in the short order, again because of the information we obtained from community members,” Rob Tufano with CMPD said.
 
A tip to Crime Stoppers also led to arrests in what investigators described as the ‘cold-blooded’ murder of 7-Eleven gas station clerk Khaled Mohamad Elmerkabaoui that happened this past December on Westinghouse Boulevard. It’s one of five homicides solved last year through Crime Stoppers, a program that pays tipsters and detectives say keeps no record of who they are.
 
“There is no court appearance, your information is truly anonymous. We don’t ask for phone numbers, addresses, your name any personal information about you. The only thing we want from the tipsters is their specific information,” said CMPD Detective Brandon Miller.
 
Crime Stoppers also led to arrests in a gas station shootout in Plaza Midwood in October where a school bus full of children was hit by a bullet.
 
Crime Stoppers got 428 more tips to the line in 2017 than it did in 2016 and paid out almost three times the amount of reward money in 2017 compared with 2016.
 
“It works. I don’t think that the numbers are anything people should just bristle at. It’s just a testament to community members who want to ensure that our city’s a safe city,” Tufano said.

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