Inmates turn into tipsters for Crime Stoppers

POSTED: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:53am

WACO -- Big money could be in store for jail inmates who snitch in Houston.

The jails there are starting a new program that encourages detainees to phone in tips to crime stoppers.

Locally, McLennan County already takes tips from inmates.

Waco Crime Stoppers get calls, emails and texts from all kinds of people: young, old, even from criminals in jail.

"Anything that will help us arrest criminals, recover property, drugs... that's a good thing," said Officer Steve Dieterich with Waco Crime Stoppers.

Just recently, a tip lead to the arrest of Jimmy Lee Kenner. Kenner ran up on an elderly woman, snatching her purse, throwing her to the ground. He was charged with aggravated robbery.

Officials say criminals in jail could have tips to help in their investigations.

All an inmate has to do is pick up the phone and call in a tip. In exchange for money, that tip can help police arrest criminals on the street.

"The premise is still the same: cash for clues and anonymity, whether you're in the free world or your locked down doing a sentence," said Officer Dieterich.

He says different programs pay inmates for their tips in their own way. Some give them rewards that can be used to buy stuff in the jail. Others just pay them through the jail itself.

In Waco, they often pay inmates who give good tips. A practice Houston jails will now also try.

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