Calling in tips to Crimestoppers in New Orleans is getting more rewarding. The group said yesterday that its standard $1,000 reward for information that leads to arrests will be increased to $2,500, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The first thing that people ask about when they call in is money,” Crimestoppers Executive Director Darlene Cusanza said. “We hope that with this additional money, people with information on crime will be enticed to come forward.” Cusanza said it was the first time in the group’s 22-year-history that the reward was increased.
The group was inspired to change the amount after the double murder of two women, Ina Gex and Durelli Watts, in mid-June. The reward reached $8,000. “People didn’t really start calling in until the reward increased,” Cusanza said. “That tip led police to the suspect who has been arrested in the case.” Crimestoppers is also initiating a new marketing campaign that includes taxi signs and a radio spot produced by Robert Gex, Ina Gex’s husband. “I saw this case come to a standstill when there were community members out there who knew something about what happened,” said Gex, former chancellor of Southern University at New Orleans. “After my family was able to increase the reward, tips started coming in droves.”