WARNER ROBINS -- Macon Regional Crimestoppers celebrated a whopping $32,500 raised for tipsters at its eighth annual David Pierce Memorial Luncheon on Wednesday, the most raised in the events history.
The luncheon was held at the Museum of Aviations Century of Flight Hangar. About 300 public safety officials, elected leaders and community members attended.
About 40 percent of arrests made through tipsters are made in the three counties of Houston, Crawford and Peach, said Warren Selby, Crimestoppers board chairman. The bulk of those arrests are made in Houston County.
From January through April of this year, there were a total of 134 arrests with a total cash pay out of $22,381, according to Crimestoppers statistics released at the luncheon.
Of the total arrests, 46 were made in Houston County, one in Peach County and one in Crawford County.
For comparison, 371 arrests were made from tipsters for a payout of $61,470 in 2013. Of the total arrests, 104 were made in Houston County, 10 in Peach County and one in Crawford County.
There are two luncheon fundraisers a year for Crimestoppers -- one in Macon and one in Warner Robins. The luncheon in Warner Robins was presented by the Rotary Clubs of Houston County.
Since its inception through April, more than $600,000 in rewards have been paid out, Selby said.
These fundraisers are critical to the continued success of the Crimestoppers programs, Selby said.
Crimestoppers uses the media to partner law enforcement with the public and offer rewards for arrests in cases.
Theres no way we can put an officer on every street in every community in Middle Georgia. With the cooperation of the media, this helps solve a lot of crimes, Houston County sheriffs Maj. Alan Everidge said in videotaped remarks.
Officer Chris Paul, Crimestoppers executive director, said in his videotaped remarks that the nonprofits website -- www.crimestop.us -- is now more interactive.
A search can be done by county, tips can be made online and donations are accepted online, he said.
The luncheon included a live auction of a framed and matted autographed Mickey Mantle photo and other sports memorabilia, along with hunting and fishing trips. Law enforcement participants were also eligible for door prize drawings.
The luncheons namesake, the late David Pierce, was a highly respected magistrate judge in Houston County. His wife, Susan, along with a daughter, Meredith, and granddaughter, Emma, who were visiting from London, were at the luncheon. Selbys parents, Byrd and Warren Selby, also attended.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.