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Bossier CrimeStoppers expands - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Bossier CrimeStoppers expands

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BOSSIER CITY, La. -

An anonymous tip to Bossier CrimeStoppers landed Shawntell Eppinett and Joseph Pomares behind bars on charges of theft and unauthorized use of an access card.

"CrimeStoppers has been proven as an effective crime fighting tool, and to have the money in the bank-which we do- and not utilize it or maximize it makes no sense," said Sheriff Julian Whittington at a Tuesday press conference.

Police recently released surveillance video that they say shows Eppinett stealing a woman's purse and using the stolen credit card at a local Walmart in October.

Related Article: Two arrested in Bossier City purse theft case

Eppinett and Pomares arrested two days after police released the video. Investigators hope the successful CrimeStoppers tips continue.

"It is a great, great way for your information to be given and to remain anonymous and help solve some of these major cases," said Bossier Police Chief Shane McWilliams.

Bossier City detectives say one of the biggest hurdles at a crime scene is the fact that witnesses won't talk for fear of retaliation. They say using an anonymous tip line like CrimeStoppers removes that threat.

"They're scared," BCPD Det. Brandon Huckaby said. "They don't want to be seen talking to police. They're scared maybe of the suspect's family or somebody that might hold that against them."

Bossier authorities plan to expand the program by increasing CrimeStoppers advertising and ramping up visits to local schools.

So far, they say the increased efforts are working. Earlier this year, the tip line received 10-15 calls per month. That average has increased to 25 calls per month.

Those calls are responsible for a slew of arrests. In July, The US Marshal's Violent Offenders Task Force arrested Kenneth Wayne Johnson, 30, for an alleged home invasion at Cloverdale Apartments in Bossier City.

Related Article: Second suspect arrested for July home invasion

In September, police arrests Bossier Parish fugitive and convicted tier III sex offender Terrell Fuller for failure to register as a sex offender.

Related Article: Tipster leads authorities to sex offender with violent history

US Marshals picked up Jackie Cole in Shreveport in October on meth distribution charges.

Police say an armed robbery at Bossier City's Hooter Park was solved in September through CrimeStoppers, and Eric King was arrested for stalking after someone made an anonymous tip.

If you have information that could lead to an arrest in an open Bossier case, call CrimeStoppers at (318) 424-4100 or visit the website bossiercrimestoppers.org.

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