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Narcotics remain main focus for Mitchell Crime Stoppers

Another year for the Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, another year of stopping drugs in the community. A majority of the crime-fighting group's reported tips were regarding narcotics, according to the Crime Stoppers' annual report released Wednesday...

Another year for the Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, another year of stopping drugs in the community.

A majority of the crime-fighting group's reported tips were regarding narcotics, according to the Crime Stoppers' annual report released Wednesday. During 2017, Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers received 113 anonymous tips and 85 of them regarded unique cases. Of those 85, 60 percent (51) were related to narcotics.

"Most of our crime is narcotics driven, one way or another," Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers Director Dean Knippling said Wednesday. "That's a big part of what is coming through the Crime Stoppers program, as well."

Knippling said those figures are mostly consistent with previous years' figures, as well. Burglaries and cases involving a wanted person were the next two most common tip subjects, each receiving seven tips in 2017.

Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward if a tip leads to an arrest and since the group formed in 1990, there's been more than 350 crimes solved through Crime Stoppers.

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"Not every tip leads to an arrest, but often times, they're part of a bigger case," Knippling said. "They're all useful and they can all make a difference."

In the last month, Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers has been offering a mobile app that allows tipsters to offer information anonymously. Knippling said it simply provides another way for those who might have clues about a crime to provide that information to authorities.

"It's still similar to the program we've used but it's a little more user friendly on both sides, for the officers using it and for the tipster who is providing the information," said Knippling, who added the mobile option has picked up some traction in its first handful of weeks in use.

The app can be downloaded by searching for "P3 Tips" in major app stores and allows informants to provide information on what kind of crime has been committed and where. Users are given a unique number to use to login for the system and through that, tipsters can communicate anonymously with law enforcement through the app. A similar program is also available at p3tips.com.

As in the past, anyone can also submit an anonymous tip online at mitchellcrimestoppers.org or by calling 605-996-1700.

Related Topics: CRIMEPOLICE
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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