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Gun Stoppers program in Greensboro hits the 1-year mark

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers office sits on the second floor of the Greensboro Police Department on Maple Street.

On the wall are whiteboards with a list of homicides in the city dating back to 2016.

“There's a lot of gun violence. A majority of the homicides that happen in Greensboro are gun related deaths,” said LaToya Neal, assistant coordinator for Crime Stoppers.

However, in the year since the Gun Stoppers program was started, in partnership with Greensboro police, more than 70 tips have been made.

It has led to 32 arrests, solving 33 cases, seizing more than $190,000 worth of drugs and taking away 44 firearms with some of them being assault weapons.

The hope is to shrink the number of homicides for this year.

Gun Stoppers encourages people to report anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers about guns that are stolen, illegal, used for a crime or in the hands of felon.

“Just think if someone robs a place and they throw the gun out of the window and then a kid comes and picks it up...It's really no telling what could happen. We have people call us telling us, ‘hey, there's literally as gun laying over here behind the bushes. Can you come and get it,’” said Neal.

Tips are often sporadic, which can be challenging in solving a case.

However, workers with the program say most of the information they get are through text messages.

“We receive text messages all day every day. Sometimes phone calls slow up and then if something in particular happens in the community, say for example a homicide just happened, then we'll have an increase it calls,” Neal said.

Tips are anonymous and you can either call or text them into Crime Stoppers. There is a reward for each tip.

The program just got its grant renewed and is always looking for donations to help expand it.