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Cornelius News

Crime doesn’t pay, but helping solve it can

Tommy Davis, from left, historian for North Meck Crime Stoppers, Arlene Arciero, treasurer, and David Rochester, chairman, volunteer at an event. Crime Stoppers is a community-based program designed to assist local law enforcement agencies with crime prevention.

March 28. By TL Bernthal. North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers wants to work with residents to prevent and solve crimes.

Crime Stoppers’ primary aim is to raise awareness with regard to citizen participation in crime fighting in our community.

The tip line, 704-896-7887, is one way: Residents can report crimes confidentially and be rewarded if the information leads to an arrest. Anonymous tips can be about weapons, gangs, drugs/alcohol, planned fights, carjackings, burglaries or vandalism in your neighborhood, apartment complex or school.

Tips can be submitted on the website as well. Either way can be anonymous; after submitting a tip, you get a unique ID number to use to check on the status of your tip or for picking up your reward.

The goal of the community-based group is to assist local law enforcement agencies, specifically in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville.

Cold case: 19-year-old Cornelius man

Huntersville Police are asking for tips on a cold case, the murder of a 19-year-old Cornelius man nine years ago. The reward money is from Crime Stoppers and the family of the victim, Peter Jordan.

Police are offering up to $14,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the murder of Jordan, who was fatally shot in the Landings at Northcross Apartments on Feb.19, 2014.

Davidson vandalism

In a Davidson vandalism case involving cars last month, North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest or conviction.

If you see a crime

David Rochester, chairman of the North Meck Crime Stoppers, says when you see a crime — whether it be a robbery, assault, murder or domestic violence or whatever — the first thing you need to do is to stay safe and then call 911 for the police to respond.

You can be a good witness by getting a good description of the people and vehicles involved, noting details of clothing and shoes, car tags, if possible.

Chief Baucom

“Crime Stoppers is an effective tool,” Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom said. “However, it is not used as often as we would like it to be.

“The whole premise is anonymity, and we always do our best to protect that so citizens will call.”

Crime Stopper programs

Rochester explains the four programs:

• Citizens who believe a crime is going to be committed, or who witnessed a crime, or have information about wanted suspects and can provide information receive cash rewards and remain anonymous; they do not have to go to court.

• Confidential informants in gangs or organized drug activities.

Dave Rochester

• Students in middle or high schools have received rewards for reporting guns, knives, drugs, cyber-crimes.

• Citizens who are willing to go public and participate in the court process, if needed, are eligible for the  CrimeStopper of the year award.


Police in the Lake Norman police departments also can recommend someone for a Crime Stoppers reward.

“Unless we have a major incident such as a robbery or homicide we have never received a large number of calls,” Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom said.  “Typically our officers or detectives put a witness or someone close to an investigation in for a reward, which is what I would say is our most common use.”

The amount of the reward can range from $50 up to $5,000, depending on several factors, Rochester said, such as the type of crime, the risk to the informant, number of crimes solved, number of people arrested, value of the drugs or cash recovered.

The number of people affected would also be a consideration in a bomb scare at a school, Rochester said, where students and staff would need to be evacuated and parents would need to be notified as well.

How you can help

North Meck Crime Stoppers was founded in October 1990 and operates as a 501c3. That means it can accept monetary donations for the rewards and can make restitutions when appropriate.

North Meck Crime Stoppers pays on arrest, which is not typically the case. Most, like the Mecklenburg group, pay on conviction. But that could be five years down the road, Rochester pointed out.

Donations can be made on the website.