CrimeStoppers regaining its momentum

Warren County Crime Stoppers is regaining momentum, with representatives from area police agencies and a new county district attorney with an agenda to return the volunteer organization to a leading role.

District Attorney Rob Greene explained at Crime Stoppers’ monthly meeting Wednesday morning how a new Warren County Ten Most Wanted list will work.

Once a month, a list with photos of the most-wanted individuals will appear in the Times Observer, and the following day it will be posted on warrencountyda.org.

Bob Patchen, Times Observer publisher, said, “The top-ten most wanted list will run the fourth Tuesday of each month, starting on Tuesday, March 25th. It will publish after Crime Stoppers’ monthly meeting which falls in the third week of each month.”

“District Attorney Rob Greene spearheaded the idea and we’re excited to publish the Top-Ten list for our readers. District Attorney Greene will meet with the local police and sheriff agencies and work with them to compile the Top-Ten list,” he added.

While the first wanted list only has people who are wanted for fines and costs, eventually police agencies will post more serious criminals, Greene said.

Youngsville Police Chief Todd Mineweaser said, “We’ll see more of these once the drug task force gets going.”

Chuck Fetzeck, Warren County Sheriff’s Department deputy, added that the last time a top ten list was published, all but three cases on the list were cleared.

Mineweaser said he got calls the first day a list was made public.

Greene noted that people making anonymous tips resulting in an arrest of a most wanted criminal were eligible for rewards up to $2,000 from Crime Stoppers, just like other tips.

To make an anonymous tip, call 1-800-83CRIME (832-7463).

Conewango Township Police Chief Jason Peters said that Pennsylvania Constables have been more visible lately, and have been issuing press releases about arrests.

Mineweaser, who also works for the Warren County Sheriff’s office, reported that deputies have been busy assisting other area departments. “The sheriff’s office put on an additional patrol on weekends, everyone has been very busy,” he said. ” The St. Patrick’s Day was a very hectic weekend, mostly drug and alcohol related.”

He also said an anti-bullying program at Youngsville Elementary Middle School was progressing.

In other business, Board President Pete Carnovale said the annual Steer Dump fundraiser will be held at the Warren County Fair on Friday, Aug. 8, and 750 tickets will be printed by next month’s meeting.

Jetta Bishop, board secretary, said there has been a good response from area businesses, donating gift certificates for door prizes during the event, and that more donations are always welcome.

She added that donations for national or regional chains are best, as some people who buy tickets are from out of the area, and it is not feasible to ship prizes like cases of beverages.

Rather than have police officers solicit donations, businesses may send donations to Warren County Crime Stoppers, P.O Box 332, Warren Pa., 16365.

Carnovale said that Carol Wolfe of Warren had expressed an interest in joining Crime Stoppers’ board of directors, and the board voted to accept her. A second, final vote will be held during next month’s meeting.

He said that Jim Kolenda, who has served on the board for many years, is no longer able to attend the meetings because he is suffering from ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A benefit dinner to help with Kolenda’s medical expenses will be held at the Sugar Grove Free Methodist Church recreation hall, 210 Jamestown St. in Sugar Grove, on Saturday, April 5 beginning at 5 p.m.

A chicken and biscuit dinner will be served with sides, beverages and dessert for a donation. Silent auction tickets will be available at the door. Ron Carrington and A Touch of Gold will donate a concert, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Carrington said, “It would be nice if Crime Stoppers (board members) would be there to visit with him. It will be a good time, there’s lots of room and lots of parking.”