Witnesses urged to call CrimeStoppers after recent spate of gun violence

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – After a violent two days across the city, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden spoke at the scene of Monday night’s triple homicide asking people to come forward.

If witnesses or anyone who may know something about the crimes calls CrimeStoppers, they may talk to Lisa Pisciotta. She’s the executive director for the St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers Tip Hotline. Even though she has been in this position for 16 years, each shooting and homicide doesn’t get easier for her to hear about.

“You don’t get numb to that kind of thing. It still is as horrible as the first one,” Pisciotta said.
“The end-all-be-all, would be that people would put down their guns and do something for constructive, stop using weapons to solve their problems, but when officers go out and look for these weapons and try to make these arrests, they need information on who’s got them and where they are.”

Pisciotta said so far in 2021, CrimeStoppers has received 1,322 tips, which have lead to nine arrests. She explained how it works when someone calls CrimeStoppers to leave a tip.

“When someone is brave enough to call CrimeStoppers, we take the information on the crime, not their name, not their location, not their phone number, the information on the crime that was committed,” she said. “That information goes into a program and directly within moments to the detectives or the agency that is investigating it, those detectives get the information.”

Pisciotta said sometimes she calls the detective working on the case as she is putting in the information so they can look at the tip right away.

“Which is what this program is designed to do, get the information in the hands of the investigators as soon as possible, so they can get out on the street and take care of that, the sooner the better,” she said.

Officers and detectives let CrimeStoppers know if a tip led to an arrest so the tipster can be rewarded.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years and it’s very satisfying to see the arrests made and the info come back and say you know this tip helped,” she said.

CrimeStoppers offers a reward from $100 to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest in a felony criminal case. Information that leads to an arrest on homicide cases, the reward starts at $5,000.

Since its inception 16 years ago, CrimeStoppers has received approximately 23,000 tips, which has led to 70 weapons taken off the streets.

“Crimestoppers make a difference because not everybody wants to be a witness, unfortunately police officers need witnesses, attorneys need witnesses to solve these crimes and make an arrest, but between not calling and not saying anything and being a witness on the stand, there’s crimestoppers, it fills the gap, it takes the fear away from someone being found out,” she added.

St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones‘ public information officer sent FOX 2/KPLR 11 a statement regarding the recent violence that has plagued the city.

“Mayor Jones is heartbroken by the continued violence that plagues our city, which is why she is proposing an initial $11.5 million investment from American Rescue Plan funding towards public safety measures that will directly address the root causes of crime. It’s imperative that we use all the tools available in the prevention toolbox to bring down the rates of violence.”

CrimeStoppers can be reached at 877-371-TIPS.

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