Crime

Can you ID driver in hit-and-run? Your tip could earn you a $5,000 reward

An anonymous tipster can earn a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest in the July 1 hit-and-run that critically injured a woman.

The Biloxi Police Department announced the reward in a news conference Thursday, saying the tip must be given to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers. Just contact Crime Stoppers and you will be given a code through which you can identify yourself anonymously if your tip leads to an arrest. The cash reward is paid through a designated bank drive-thru, using your code. Your name remains confidential.

What police now know, from video surveillance through the windows inside Wells Fargo on Howard Avenue, is the suspect vehicle is a black Toyota Tundra, possibly a 2001 or other early model. The truck struck a 47-year-old woman on Howard and just north of Reynoir Street, leaving her in critical condition, Biloxi Police Lt. Christopher De Back said.

An anonymous donor has come forward with money to help Crime Stoppers fund the reward.

“Be a nosy neighbor,” Crime Stoppers Coordinator Lori Massey said.

“Notice the vehicles around you in parking lots or in traffic. If a vehicle fits the description, get the description and call Crime Stoppers.”

You can reach Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-877-787-5898, through its website at www.mscoastcrimestoppers.com or by its free app, P3 Tips.

Even if a tip doesn’t lead to an arrest, it can provide information that can help investigators solve the case.

One picture released to the media shows a light-skinned driver wearing a yellow hat.

“It’s unknown if the driver is a male or female,” De Back said.

Short of someone calling Crime Stoppers to identify the driver, the truck’s tag number “is of utmost importance,” he said.

The driver was eastbound on Howard and turned north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, striking the pedestrian just north of Reynoir Street, he said. Police were called to the scene about 3:23 p.m. July 1.

The truck has a small chrome brush guard, a chrome rear bumper, black window-vent visors and stock rims for a 2001 or early-model-Tundra, De Back said.

Police have continued to look for surveillance videos to try to get a tag number and a clearer picture of the driver.

“We’re reaching out to the public, asking for any assistance, any witnesses any photos and videos that you may have,” De Back said.

Police have gone up and down the street looking for witnesses and trying to find videos, he said.

The injured woman remains in critical condition and police have not been able to get a full statement from her, De Back said.

The injured woman, a pedestrian, suffered a traumatic brain injury, a longtime friend told the Sun Herald. She is a homemaker and mother of two from Roswell, Georgia.

Her family is cooperating with police as best they can, De Back said.

Police had obtained a surveillance photo after the incident and later obtained clearer pictures taken inside of Wells Fargo through its front windows.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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