Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Serial Burglar Targeting Local Shopping Center

Cpt. Robert Manzo HPD
“We want this person to spend the upcoming Holidays in a jail cell,” proclaimed Captain Robert Manzo while gesturing toward a surveillance photo of a suspect wanted for a series of burglaries. “From experience, serial offenders such as this are likely to continue to offend.”

The South Wayside Village strip center located on the 5800 block of the Gulf Freeway has been the target of eight burglaries over the past eight months.  In that time, multiple businesses have been targeted by the suspected burglar, many of which have been hit twice over the course of the year. 

“This offender displays the characteristics of career criminal conduct,” stated Katherine Cabaniss, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers. “Place a call today to prevent the next victim before years end.”

Having sent surveillance footage to HPD’s video lab, investigators are now turning to Crime Stoppers and the citizens of Harris County to help solve this case. 

“Crime is down all over the city,” stated Manzo at a Crime Stoppers press conference held Monday, December 19, 2011, “however even one crime is too many for me.  Someone will recognize this picture and know the offender.  We ask them to call Crime Stoppers.”

If you know the identity of the suspect featured, or the identity of the burglars in any of these cases, please contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.  Callers are eligible for up to $5,000 for information that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspects in these cases.  All callers remain anonymous.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Plea to the Public

Raul Amaro
Raquel Ramirez took to the podium during a morning press conference in the Crime Stoppers media room.  Her eyes welling with tears, she pleaded for information about the November 28 slaying of her uncle Raul Amaro.

On November 28th, 2011, Raul Amaro stopped at a gas station near the 13100 block of Bissonet.  While congregating near the side of the gas station Amaro was approached by two black male suspects.  The suspects attempted to rob Amaro, but when he fought back, he was shot one time.  Amaro succumbed to his injuries en route to the hospital.

 Wednesday’s press conference asked citizens to report information anonymously to Crime Stoppers and help bring closure to this case.  During the press conference an increased reward of up to $11,000.00 was announced for any information that leads to the filing of charges or arrest of a suspect.

“Our family’s world was rocked by this tragedy,” stated Ramirez during the family’s remarks. “We’re here to get these criminals off the streets so no other family has to go through the loss that we’ve been through.”

Investigators say that those criminals are described as two black males, with slender builds and short hair, between the ages of 20 and 30.  “We have very little information about these suspects at this time,” claimed Dep. Jason Brown from the Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit.
“My uncle was a good person.  He was always happy and I can’t remember a bad day with him,” concluded Ramirez as the cameras shut down, and the microphones turned off. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS

Pasadena Arson Suspects Arrested on a Crime Stoppers Tip

Crime Stoppers and the Pasadena Fire Marshal’s Office are announcing the
successful arrest of two arson suspects thanks to an anonymous Crime
Stoppers tip.  The two juvenile suspects were recently featured by Crime
Stoppers as the primary suspects responsible for a fire at a Pasadena
elementary school.

On Sunday, November 13, 2011, at approximately 3:35 AM, Pasadena Fire
Fighters responded to a dumpster fire in the parking lot of Bailey Elementary
School. Fire Fighters quickly contained the primary fire, and a secondary fire
discovered at the scene.  After a thorough investigation, it was discovered the
fires were caused by arson.

On December 6, 2011, Crime Stoppers released the photo of the two suspects
in the case, and urged citizens to make an anonymous call identifying the
suspects.  That same day, the Crime Stoppers phone rang, and investigators
learned the identities of both suspects.  Two juveniles, ages 15 and 14 years
old, were identified as the individuals captured by surveillance footage and
spotlighted during local media broadcasts. 

On December 7, 2011, the Crime Stoppers tips, shared with the
Pasadena Fire Marshal’s Office, enabled investigators to charge the two
juvenile suspects with Second Degree Felony Arson.  Information obtained
through anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers also led to the arrest of both
suspects, who are now awaiting their appearance in court on this case.  

Without information obtained through Crime Stoppers tips, the suspects accused in this case may have remained unidentified.  Through a partnership with the media, law enforcement and anonymous citizens, these suspects were brought to justice.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bank Robbery and Bomb Threats - Captured on a Crime Stoppers Tip

Roy Randall Fredrick likely didn’t imagine the day he’d be arrested when he robbed a local bank last month.

On November 2, 2011 Fredrick entered the Comerica Bank on the 700 block of Walker and approached the tellers’ desk.  He then produced a bank bag and told the teller, “I have a gun and a bomb. Y’all put the money in the bag, don’t set off any alarms and don’t push any buttons.”   Fredrick carried a brown satchel over his shoulder, which he indicated was the ticking time bomb waiting to explode. He left the satchel in exchange for the bank bag filled with cash. “In three minutes the bomb is gonna go off, don’t move,” declared Fredrick as he fled the bank with an undisclosed amount. 

Once Fredrick was out of sight, the bank employees evacuated; not willing to wait for an explosion, that in the end, never came. 

Investigators aired the surveillance footage from the bank on local networks and media.  The reports urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.  Reporters reminded viewers that if they called Crime Stoppers, their identities would remain confidential and they would be eligible for a cash reward.

Immediately following the broadcast reports, a call to Crime Stoppers identified the suspect in the surveillance footage (above) as Roy Randall Fredrick.  However, his whereabouts remained unknown and Fredrick remained at large. 

Exactly a month following the brazen robbery, the Crime Stoppers phone rang again.  This time the anonymous tipster revealed Fredrick’s location.  Crime Stoppers investigators coordinated with the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force and an arresting team was dispatched to Fredrick’s suspected whereabouts. 

Fredrick was swiftly arrested and brought into custody at the Harris County Jail, where he remains held with no bond.  It’s likely that without the tips provided to Crime Stoppers, Fredrick’s identity and whereabouts would have remained unknown.  Thankfully, due to the diligence of investigators, and the cooperation of anonymous citizens, Fredrick will experience justice served.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Together We're Going to Make this a Beautiful Place to Live

Precinct 4 County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
Crime Stoppers’ annual holiday luncheon was held Thursday at Damian’s Cucina Italiana in midtown.  Members from the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors, District Attorney Patricia Lykos, and honored guests joined in celebrating the holiday season and the successful year at Crime Stoppers.

County Commissioner Jack Cagle honored Crime Stoppers during his keynote address. “You have a mission statement that is broader, deeper and reaches down into the core of who we are,” stated Cagle. “Crime Stoppers’ mission is to solve and prevent serious crime in Houston.  What a noble goal.”

Cagle went on to address the serious nature of crime and punishment in the state of Texas, noting the 166,000 men and women incarcerated at a cost of $30,000.00 per inmate per year.  Cagle lauded Crime Stoppers’ crime prevention efforts stating, “If you can prevent crime before it occurs, you can keep these folks out of the prisons, and if you can keep them out of prison you can keep their children out of prison.”

Finally Cagle articulated the County’s commitment to community safety and continued partnership.  “With our commitment from the government working together with law enforcement, we will bring the peace to our communities that we all desire... Together we’re going to make this a beautiful place to live.”

Crime Stoppers joins in that commitment.   Thursday’s holiday luncheon celebrated Crime Stoppers’ special relationship with the Houston community.  The pledge to live safe was ever strengthened through the partnerships formed at Thursday’s luncheon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Celebrating 30 Years Living Safe

On Thursday, November 3 Crime Stoppers and the City of Houston celebrated 30 years of community action at the annual Crime Stoppers Gala, hosted at the Omni Houston.  Over 30 years, Crime Stoppers has solved more than 30,000 crimes and paid millions in cash rewards.  It’s through a partnership with the media, the police and Houston’s citizens that these accomplishments were made possible. 

Thursday’s Gala invited members of the Houston Community to regale in one of Houston’s most impressive settings.  The evening commenced with a welcome from Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell and remarks from gala host Dave Ward, anchor for ABC 13 Eyewitness News.  Steve Forbes of Forbes Media and Magazine graced the stage with his informative address on the role and impact of business and media in our Nation’s time. 

Gala Chairs Joe’l and Rocky Mafrige with Amberly and C.F. “Jeb” Wait took to the stage with elegance to encourage continued support of Crime Stoppers, and raised a glass to the next 30 years of crime prevention.   

The night celebrated the successes of 30 consecutive years of Crime Stoppers’ approach to solving and preventing crime. However the evening was truly punctuated with a pledge to continue fostering the partnerships that empower citizens and promote community safety throughout Houston. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Honoring The Victims of 9/11 Through a Commitment to LIVE SAFE

It is entirely appropriate that we begin our blog on the anniversary of 9/11. Remembering that day, we honor the acts and the sacrifices of so many heroes. We mourn for the losses of loved ones and with those who suffered and grieved.
The cost of 9/11 is measured not only in loss of life, but in the change of our nation’s outlook. Every citizen became engaged in the campaign for homeland security. National safety remains an ongoing priority.   
On a local level, community safety has always been a priority. For many years, “crime” was the number one concern of Houston’s citizens. It was replaced only recently by “traffic”, and “the economy.” However, since 9/11, our local outlook mirrors that of the nation as a whole.
At Crime Stoppers, we promote the lessons learned from 9/11. The most important – “If you see something, say something” – is our consistent message. 
Citizens are the eyes and ears of law enforcement in the community. Crime Stoppers teaches that you don’t have to wear a badge and a gun to fight crime in Harris County. Citizens are empowered to keep our community safe! 
The Crime Stoppers nonprofit tip line, 713-222-TIPS, has been an effective crime prevention resource for the past thirty years. Citizens make crime reports anonymously, without fear of retaliation. Cash rewards are paid for accurate crime tips. Crime Stoppers protects citizens and children where they live, work and learn.
Our consciousness was raised by the events of 9/11. We carry the legacy in our community through our vigilance. Working together, we report what we see and know. Through Crime Stoppers and its local partners, our collective efforts keep the community safe.
Ten years later, we hope for the day that our memories of the 9/11 victims bring more comfort than sorrow. The tragedy and horror of 9/11 will not soon be outweighed. However, our increased vigilance, raised public awareness, and other lessons learned are saving lives every day.  
We honor the 9/11 heroes and victims. We thank them for their service and sacrifice. 
Every day, we will respect their memory with our commitment to Live Safe.
By Katherine Cabaniss
Cabaniss is a former Harris County prosecutor and the Executive Director of Crime Stoppers Houston

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to the Official Crime Stoppers of Houston Blog!

Our mission is to solve and prevent crime in the Greater Houston area in partnership with citizens, media, and the criminal justice system.  Live Safe!