LEE COUNTY, Fla.- In an effort to generate tips on unsolved cases, including the 14 homicides which have occurred within the city limits of Fort Myers since January, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is blanketing a high crime neighborhood, so that every resident knows there is a safe and secure way to help police stop the violence.
This afternoon, more than 8,000 fliers are being delivered to the US Post Office at Page Field, which will blanket the 33916 zip code – a part of the city where a prevalent percentage of crime is taking place. The fliers spell out in no uncertain terms that people who call Crime Stoppers remain completely anonymous and should have no fear of retaliation. The fliers also encourage residents to provide anonymous tips on any unsolved crime, but especially the homicides which have occurred in the first six months of 2012. The names of each of this year’s murder victims within the city are prominently placed on the flier, so that residents can be reminded that there are still killers at large, and families who deserve closure.
“There’s been so much attention in recent weeks from residents who continue to say ‘stop the violence,’ however very few are providing those anonymous tips with information that they have on these unsolved crimes. With each one of these extreme acts of violence, we know there are people in the community who know what happened, who’s responsible and why the crimes occurred,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Law enforcement needs the public’s help in solving these crimes and removing the violent element from our neighborhoods. By putting a Crime Stoppers flier in every mailbox in that zip code, residents will have no excuse that they didn’t know there was a safe avenue to do the right thing.”
Working to stem the outburst of violent crimes has been an on-going partnership between Crime Stoppers and all local law enforcement agencies, including the Fort Myers Police Department, which has been faced with the largest number of homicides this year.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Crime Stoppers. The mailer will hopefully reinforce community participation through anonymous tips and serve as reminder that citizen involvement is vital in making our communities safer,” according to Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker.
With the assistance of the United States Postal Service, the fliers should reach every mailbox in the 33916 zip code on Saturday. Additional direct mail campaigns are planned for the very near future in other high crime areas of Southwest Florida.
As always, anyone with information on an unsolved crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.
No calls are ever recorded or traced, and no names or identifying information on callers are ever taken. All callers are given a code number, which is the only way they are identified, and if their information leads to an arrest, the tipsters pick up their rewards in cash at a banking institution that’s convenient for them. It’s that simple, it’s that safe, and – when people choose to make that call – it’s that effective.