Within three weeks of launching the L.A. Crime Stoppers program -- empowering community members to send anonymous tips about crimes in their neighborhoods -- deputies are getting calls. And emails. And texts.
Lots of them.
Two recent busts in Lancaster, in fact, have the program to thank for their leads.
Acting on an anonymous tip from the Crime Stoppers tip line, deputies from the Lancaster Sheriff's station were able to obtain and serve a search warrant for a suspicious house.
When police entered the house they found two bedrooms and a large room at the rear of the house converted into a marijuana growing facility.
Deputies say more than 300 plants were found growing under a sophisticated system of lights and automatic irrigation.
One suspect was arrested at the house and two others were later arrested by deputies. All were taken to the Lancaster Sheriff's station and booked on marijuana related charges.
In another Lancaster case, a Crime Stopper tip led authorities to another illicit jackpot: Cash, several pounds of suspected methamphetamine, and guns.
Acting on an anonymous tip, deputies conducted a surveillance operation of a residence on the 43000 block of 6th street East, and later conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that left the location.
The driver, Crisantos Villa, was detained and officers found a large amount of cash and several pounds of suspected methamphetamine inside the vehicle. As the investigation continued, deputies obtained a search warrant for the residence, where more drugs cash and guns were found.
Three suspects were arrested and are being charged with numerous narcotics-related crimes.
Lancaster Station commander, Captain Axel Anderson says he's please with the operation and is excited that the Crime Stoppers program works.
Officer Nguyet Do from the LAPD says, "We've received about 150 tips in December... we've recovered 8 guns, made 14 arrests and recovered about $300,000 dollars worth of property and narcotics."
Mark Speer, the Executive Director of L.A. Crime Stoppers says he's getting great results. "The program is working and it's empowering the community to take action against crime."
If you have a tip call the CRIME STOPPERS tip line anonymously at 800-222-TIPS. You can text to 274637 (CRIMES) by entering TIPLA plus your tip, or submit a tip online to www.lacrimestoppers.org.