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Text-a-Tip line leads to Kroger arrest

By Maddie Wood, For The Miami Student

On Monday, Oct. 13, the Butler County police department arrested and charged Jason Eichner, 27, with one count of felony robbery after he robbed a man at a Liberty Township Kroger.

The police found Eichner after receiving a tip via text message.

The robbery took place at Kroger Marketplace, located within the Liberty Commons shopping center in Liberty Township. The reported crime occurred around 7:15 p.m.

According to a news release from the Butler County Sheriff's Office, Champak Rana, 62, of West Chester, went to the Kroger to pick up his wife when a hooded man entered the bathroom and proceeded to rob him. Eichner asked Rana for his wallet, alluded to possessing a gun and grabbed the wallet out of Rana's hand before reportedly running out of the store. The police considered Eichner armed and dangerous when investigating this case, even though Rana never saw a gun. The suspect was reportedly wearing a brown jacket, blue jeans, white gym shoes and a baseball hat.

The police were able to apprehend Eichner due to an anonymous tip received via TipSubmit. TipSubmit is a system that was put into effect in Butler County last June by Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

Through this technology, community members have the ability to offer anonymous tips on criminal activity happening in the community. People can submit their reports through the Internet or mobile phones. To submit a tip online, residents can simply log on to butlercountysheriff.org and fill out a detailed description of the crime committed. If the tipper would rather submit their tip mobily, an SMS text feature is also available. To reach someone at the department, text the word COPS and the tip to CRIMES (274367).

TipSubmit allows citizens to have anonymous two-way conversation with the agency without requiring them to speak to an investigator.

"We need help from citizens to fight crime in Butler County," Jones said. "From food stamp fraud to the apprehension of heroin dealers, many of our investigations start with information we've received from neighbors who are tired of crime in their community."

While TipSubmit can be very helpful to local agencies when fighting crime, the police department still advises citizens to call 911 in emergency situations or when witnessing urgent illegal activities.

Butler County police hope the user-friendly TipSubmit technology will encourage citizens to get more involved; especially young adults who may not have been aware of tip protocol before.

First-year Miami student Gaby Perez agreed with the department.

"I didn't know [TipSubmit] existed, and now that I do, I feel much safer," Perez said. "I think it was definitely a smart decision for Butler County to start using it, especially with how much our generation relies on technology."

In addition to the Kroger robbery case, TipSubmit technology has helped agencies across the country make over 145,000 arrests.

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