Fresno, Calif. - In 2017 your Crime Stoppers tips made a difference. Again this year the reward money is increased for any information about gang related crimes. We're learning in Fresno officers patrolling Parkway Drive near Highway 99 and Olive are in need of Crime Stoppers tips after a recent gang related arrest. They hope to crack down on drug sales and prostitution helping to finance gang crime. Monday night police arrested a Dog Pound gang member on Parkway Drive and they hope Crime Stoppers tips will help them to clean up the area that's been a hot bed for gangs in the past. They also managed to get a stolen gun off the streets. Investigators discovered it was stolen out of Oklahoma.
I rode along with Fresno Police officers Sean Morris and Matt Besoyan during a proactive patrol of Parkway Drive. It's an area with a history of criminal activity helping to finance gangs and people here notice a police vehicle is on the block.
"After we've been out here for five to ten minutes everyone starts to scatter and you see less and less people out here and then after we leave about ten minutes later it's alive and well again." said Morris. "This is a huge problem area for us not only for the pimping and prostitution, but narcotics sales and stolen vehicles."
Drug sales are a common threat here, but investigators say it's human trafficking that brings in the big bucks for gangs. Even during a proactive patrol it can be difficult to get information.
"They like to scatter into these little motels and then by the time you get in there you don't even know which door they went into," said Morris.
To help these officers find answers-- the valley crime stoppers board continues to aggressively pursue anonymous tips. Violence has happened along Parkway Drive in the past and Valley Crime Stoppers President Dale Mendoza hopes higher payouts for anonymous tips will save innocent lives and diminish the power of gangs in the area.
"There is so much crime and so much gang activity and so we are enhancing the rewards up to $3,000 if it is a gang enhancement or gang connected," said Mendoza.
Police officers in sou