Houston & Peach

About $33,500 raised for Macon Regional Crimestoppers

WARNER ROBINS -- About $33,500 was raised Wednesday for tipsters to Macon Regional Crimestoppers.

The 9th annual David Pierce Memorial Community Luncheon was held at the Museum of Aviation’s Century of Flight Hangar. About 300 public safety officials, elected leaders and community members attended.

Warren Selby Jr., Crimestoppers’ board chairman, said the amount of money raised exceeded last year’s fundraiser.

Sponsors, law enforcement and the media were lauded at the luncheon for working as a team to help make communities safer through the Crimestoppers program.

Since its inception nearly 15 years ago, $654,770 in rewards have been paid out, and 4,522 arrests have been made.

The program provides rewards up to $1,000 for tips leading to an arrest, but in many cases, higher rewards are offered. The Peach County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Valley Police Department and Macon Regional Crimestoppers combined forces to offer Monday a $2,500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of an alleged serial rapist believed responsible for about a dozen break-ins near the Fort Valley State University campus in April. Two women were raped, and the suspect attempted to rape two other women.

Since its inception, about 6,616 cases have been cleared in connection with tips to Macon Regional Crimestoppers.

There are two luncheon fundraisers a year for Crimestoppers -- one in Macon and one in Warner Robins. The Warner Robins luncheon was presented by the Rotary Clubs of Houston County.

The luncheon’s namesake, the late David Pierce, was a highly respected magistrate judge in Houston County and longtime Rotarian. His wife, Susan, and other family and friends attended the luncheon. Selby’s parents, Byrd and Warren Selby, also attended.

The combined choirs of Houston County and Warner Robins high schools sang the national anthem.

The Crimestoppers tip line numbers are 877-68CRIME or 478-742-2330. Tips also can be made on the Crimestoppers website at www.crimestop.us and through Facebook and Twitter, said Sgt. Chris Paul, executive director of the organization.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.