ALBANY — An anonymous caller helped make a case against an arsonist. She got six years in jail. The tipster got $2,250 Friday.
Alice Michelle Warren is serving six years in prison for arson in the first degree for setting fire to a house on the 600 block of Burke Avenue in January 2009. She has 14 years of probation after she is released.
“We made the case because an informant came forward,” said Greg Edwards, Dougherty County district attorney. “It is very important for people to come forward. We solved a case in 1999, a double-homicide arson, because someone came forward.”
The informant remains anonymous, but he was in the Albany-Dougherty Judicial Building Friday to collect his reward.
When complimented by an attorney on his community service the informant pointed at an investigator and said, “I want to give credit to guys like this. They respond very quickly.”
Randy Bishop a consultant with Georgia Arson Control in South Georgia and Drew Lane, an arson investigator from the Atlanta office of the Georgia insurance and safety fire commissioner brought the check.
Lane said that since 1979 the arson tip program has given out 500 rewards totaling more than $1.6 million.
The rewards are for the arrest and conviction of arsonists. Anyone can be nominated for a reward by law enforcement, fire department and district attorney’s office officials even if the community informant didn’t call the arson hotline.
The statewide arson hotline is staffed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, but it also has an answering machine during the other hours.
The number is 1 (800) 282-5804.
Additionally, calls are taken by Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477), which also offers rewards for tips on all manner of crimes including arson.