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Crime Stoppers hold fund raisers in Fort Madison, Keokuk

December 9, 2016 GMT

Lee County Crime Stoppers gathered Thursday evening at the Fort Madison Hy-Vee to take part in an all-you-can-eat chili fundraiser for the organization. At the same time, the organization was holding a fund raiser in Keokuk.

Lee County Crime Stoppers – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – came about earlier this year and is trying to fill the coffers that will pay rewards to those providing information that leads to an arrest. The rewards will go as high as $1,000.

In some programs, the apprehended suspect must be convicted before a reward is paid out, but for this group, the reward is paid out after the arrest.

Crime Stoppers member J.D. Henshaw said some organizations have offered to help fund the program, however, this is the first fundraiser held by the organization itself.

“Not only is this one the first, but we have a goal,” Henshaw said. “We are trying to raise $5,000 between this store and the Hy-Vee in Keokuk.”

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To date, six cash rewards have been given to people giving tips.

Henshaw said it’s important to understand that the purpose of the group is not to make people rich.

“We just want to be able to make Lee County a safer place,” Henshaw said.

Sheriff-elect Stacy Weber said Crime Stoppers is a good concept.

“All too often when people give tips to police, they get harassed on social media, lose a day’s pay when they have to testify in court, and get labeled a snitch in the community,” Weber said. “It’s about time something positive happen to the people who want to help law enforcement.”

Notices of cases being worked on will be posted in various media outlets. Anyone having information about the crime or observing suspicious behavior should call 1-800-362-8900.

Those reporting information will be given a confidential identification number. Law enforcement officials will handle the meeting arrangements so the person providing the tip can receive the award, using the ID number to verify they provided the tip.

The amount of the reward is determined by the Crime Stoppers group.

No tax dollars are involved. The donations to the program fund the rewards. Tax deductible donations should be sent to the Lee County Sheriff’s office at 2530 255th St., Montrose, 52639. Make checks payable to Lee County Crime Stoppers.