Business Owner Urges Crime Tip Reward Donation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/03/05

Business Owner Urges Crime Tip Reward Donation

Robert Hodges Robert Hodges

With the recent death of Jennifer Ross (Citizens Form Crime Task Force Following Teen's Murder),  many people are speaking out about crime. Now some Savannah businesses want to help by donating reward money.

It's not the first time he's had to deal with Savannah's crime problem, and now Robert Hodges, owner of Hodges Air Park, a small, private airport, feels he can help solve the city's latest murder.

"I say that I'll give $1,000 for a fund for the arrest and conviction of this killer," he said. "If we get a good fund going for that purpose only, then I think we'll be able to curb this crime in Savannah."

Urging other businesses to contribute additional reward money, and already having contributed money in other local cases, Hodges knows the bigger the reward, the more people talk.

"We need to make it profitable for these hoodlums out there to turn these guys in," he said.

Demery Bishop, director of CrimeStoppers, agrees that an increase in reward money does help. "In the Sean Abraham case--that was Church's Fried Chicken--we increased that reward money both by CrimeStoppers and from the corporate perspective," he recalled. "In just a matter of a few days, that case was solved as well, so we know it works."

Bishop says it also worked in the Gloria Peloquin murder case. When the reward money reached $10,500, an anonymous call was made and Kareem Petty was captured the very next day.

Knowing money does help, Hodges feels it's the best way for the community to fight crime, at least for now. "We need to take it on ourselves to take some steps and stop this sort of thing going on," he said.

The reward being offered in Jennifer Ross' case is now up to $7,500. And it's not just businesses kicking in the cash; individuals are also donating.

That reward will be paid in cash. If you have any information about her case, call CrimeStoppers at 234.2020.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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