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MARY MEAUX — Tips can lead to arrests; vital for police response

A recent story of an alleged thief entering a local department store and exiting with more than $1,500 in electronics went up on panews.com this week.

It didn’t take long for the woman, who apparently just strolled out of the store pushing a basket with items in and under the cart, to be identified.

On Wednesday law enforcement said the female has been ID’d. And on Thursday, Port Arthur Police Det. Sadie Guedry said the case had been filed with the District Attorney’s office.

The crime occurred at approximately 8 a.m. July 30, according to Port Arthur Police Department. A social media post went on to ask for the public’s help in identifying the person and to contact Crime Stoppers with information about the crime.

A detective with PAPD did confirm the person was identified but did not say if the tip came from Crime Stoppers, if store management recognized the alleged suspect or if other sources were used.

Whatever the case, Crime Stoppers has been a help to law enforcement by letting tips — some that break cases — be submitted anonymously. And the tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.

Crime Stoppers also works with police agencies in seeking information on violent and deadly crimes.

There’s the discovery of the body of 24-year-old transgender woman Aidelen Evans, whom police originally identified as Cordell Evans, in a canal in Port Arthur in March. Forensics took months and now investigators with the Beaumont Police Department are viewing this as a murder, believing the deceased was killed in Beaumont and the body brought to Port Arthur.

BPD is now looking for people who may have seen Evans in the areas she was known to frequent — College Street and Fourth Street.

This information could be crucial to finding Evans’ killer.

Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas makes is easy to submit a tip. You can call 409-833-8477, or go to the mobile app P3Tips App or submit by web (there’s a link on the Crime Stoppers website at 833tips.com).

Crime can happen anywhere and there are now campus Crime Stoppers programs locally.

“Campus Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas covers 17 school districts in Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties which include 18 both public and private high schools and 35 middle schools with a student population of over 34,000 students. Campus CSSETX has received numerous tips regarding bullying, vaping, self-harm, weapons, vandalism, and much more,” according to the Crime Stoppers website.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.