CrimeStoppers use cash to fight gun violence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CrimeStoppers use cash to fight gun violence

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    Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond and Elk Run Heights.More >>
    Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond, Elk Run Heights and the surrounding Black Hawk County area.More >>

Daniel Butz can't forget the bullet holes in the front of his home, or the shots that tore into his living room. During the apparently random shooting, the 16-year-old was injured, along with another person.

“Since I don't know who it was, I feel a bit more uncomfortable about it,” Butz said.

It happened in late December, but so far, no arrests have been made in the case. It's part of a trend Waterloo Police have noticed this year — a rise in gun violence.

In an effort to combat that, this week, Cedar Valley CrimeStoppers announced a new reward program for tips leading to arrests.

“They don't realize the consequences of their actions,” said Investigator Brice Lippert with Waterloo Police. “They fire a gun into a house, and don't think someone will be on the other side.”

Lippert, who also organized CrimeStoppers, said studies have shown that straightforward rewards can bring in more tips. The new CrimeStoppers program promises $200 for a tip that takes an illegal gun off the street, and $350 if it was a convicted felon carrying it.

He said the fact of the matter is, money talks. 

“If no one is around, if no one talks, and there's no physical evidence, to be quite honest, that crime is not getting solved,” Lippert said.

Lippert said gun crimes increase during the summer months, and police want to get out in front of it this year.

Butz hopes this new program brings someone forward in his case.

“I'm pretty sure somebody had to have seen that happen,” he said.

His mother Bonnie, looking at the bullet holes in the front of their home, feels the same.

“I know there's a lot of fear of retaliation, that's why people don't talk, but it kind of makes me mad nonetheless,” she said.

So while there may be a stigma against ‘snitching,' both police and the Butz family are hopeful that could change.

“Just because you're quiet, doesn't mean somebody won't still be hurt,” Mrs. Butz said.

Tipsters can remain anonymous. The phone number is 855-300-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted at www.cvcrimestop.com.

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