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Public plays key role in taking down criminals through technology

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Since Wednesday five shootings and a stabbing have left four people dead and two wounded in the Lowcountry.

Investigators are still working to solve four of those crimes as suspects are still on the run.

Leaving a tip through Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry is a way you can help law enforcement solve crimes.

"People are the eyes and ears of the police department," said Corporal Fred Bowie with the Charleston Police Department.

Bowie says the public plays a key role in solving crimes.

"Without public information the opportunity for an officer just to happen to ride into a crime in progress is very small," said Bowie.

Bowie is assigned to the Crime Stoppers office. He takes tips from the community without giving away anyone's identity.

"They don't have to fear retaliation and that's the biggest fear people out there have when you're dealing with some pretty hardened criminals," said Bowie.

Bowie says thanks to tips, there have been 2,800 arrests since the start of the Lowcountry chapter in 1983.

Bowie says this year has been fairly successful.

"25 arrests this year thus far and that's five a month," said Bowie.

Bowie says these days they get a lot more tips on major crimes.

"The murders, the armed robberies, the kidnapping, those kinds of things," said Bowie.

You can call 554-1111 to leave a tip.

A reward is given if your information leads to solving the crime.

"Up to $1000, never less than 100, never more than 1000," said Bowie.

Calling isn't the only way to leave a tip; you can also do it online.

"It's 5541111.com ," said Bowie.

Sending a text message is another option.

"You text to 274637 and those numbers spell out the words "crimes," said Bowie.

Be sure to start your message with the letters "CSL."

Bowie said, "That stands for Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry."

Bowie says no tip is too small to report.

"Normally there's somebody out there that sees something at night, hears something. Even if there's rumor on the street, call it in anyway. You never know when it may be just that missing piece of the puzzle that's going to solve a crime," said Bowie.

Bowie says Crime Stoppers has 600 chapters across the nation and 11 of those are here in South Carolina. The Lowcountry chapter serves 10 counties.?

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