HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? The suspect, who officials have dubbed "Bank Bomb Bandit," was last seen in a town between Houston and San Antonio.
- 10 seconds. Rejoin our team. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two.
DAVE WARD: And good evening, friends I'm Dave Ward.
- As the Dean of Houston News, ABC 13's Dave Ward has been at the forefront of Crime Stoppers Houston since its inception 40 years ago.
ANN CARRIZALES: I feel like people trusted Dave Ward before they trusted Crime Stoppers as an organization.
- The idea for Crime Stoppers Houston began with members of the Downtown Exchange Club, including former "Houston Chronicle" editor Jack Loftis.
JACK LOFTIS: We were meeting in a hotel, a directors meeting. And when I came back, all my hubcaps were gone from my car. So that just made me more dedicated.
- The premise? Offer reward money to everyday citizens for an anonymous tip that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of any suspect.
DAVE WARD: For a perspective on these issues--
- The group asked Dave and ABC 13 to create and air reenactments of one crime each week.
- When you say this is a case in point, that's when you start your move.
- The reenactments worked well, sometimes too well, like this one involving an armed convenience store robbery.
DAVE WARD: Our actor, while they were filming inside, he's aiming a shotgun or something at the clerk. Somebody drove by and saw that and called the police. Well, when it came time for them to shoot the actor running out the front door, when he ran out the front door, there were like six police cars out there with the cops pointing their guns. He just melted right down into the sidewalk.
In tonight's Crime Stoppers report--
- During its 40-year history, Crime Stoppers Houston solved more than 35,000 felony crimes and paid out more than $12 million in reward money. With its unmatched success, Crime Stoppers Houston sets the standard for cities all over the world wishing to create their own versions of this successful crime fighting program.
- Give me the money!
- While those reenactments have been replaced by surveillance or user-generated video or photos, Crime Stoppers continues to work as anonymously and efficiently as it has for 40 years.
ILONA CARSON: Smartphones have pretty much eliminated the need for memorizing important phone numbers. But one almost all of us know by heart, the Crime Stoppers tip line.
DAVE WARD: Well, it's catchy, 713-222-TIPS. And really, people do remember that number.
ANN CARRIZALES: I was a young girl.
- Ann Carrizales remembers the first time she wanted to call Crime Stoppers, as a little girl in a grocery store parking lot.
ANN CARRIZALES: I remember seeing a man sitting in a car. And he was getting out of the car and looking around. Then he'd get back in the car. I remember it being super-suspicious to me.
And so I looked down at his license plate and I memorized it. And I remember, I could not wait to tell my mother that I needed to call the Crime Stoppers tip line. So my mom says, you know, I'm not going to let you call the Crime Stoppers line just because you think, you know? I remember even back then, I wanted this connection to Crime Stoppers to help because I wanted to help stop crime.
- I'm hit twice.
- Ann grew up to be a police officer and experienced that Crime Stoppers connection seven years ago when she was shot in the line of duty.
- According to Stafford Police, the whole thing started when officer Ann Carrizales stopped a vehicle in the 12700 block of Murphy Road around 3:30 this morning.
DUSTIN CLABORN: She approached and was speaking with the driver when a passenger inside the vehicle shot her once in the chest, once in the face.
- In spite of her injuries, Officer Carrizales returned fire and managed to make it back to her vehicle and follow the suspects. She was finally treated where the chase ended and taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
- Ann's shooter was arrested at the scene. But two others in the car escaped until a call went out to Crime Stoppers.
DAVE WARD: We have an update this evening in the shooting of a Stafford police officer over the weekend. Less than 24 hours after announcing an increased reward, a tip led to the arrest of the two remaining suspects in that violent traffic stop.
- Ann made a full recovery and will be forever grateful to Crime Stoppers and ABC 13's Dave Ward.
ANN CARRIZALES: I don't believe that there will ever be a way that Dave will ever know all of the lives that he's touched. But I want him to know that he's touched my life. He's touched the lives of my family, not just my husband and my children, but my parents, my siblings, my grandmother, my aunts, my uncles.
And you know I'm Hispanic. We have a big, old family. He's touched all our lives.
DAVE WARD: They said he got out of that car, went right up the street, got in another one, and left.
ANN CARRIZALES: So from the bottom of my heart, I have to say thanks to Dave for believing in something bigger than him and giving so much of himself to see it become fruitful. Thanks for being the man who is willing to reach out and empower other human beings.
DAVE WARD: Call Crime Stoppers at 222-TIPS.