Police use media, Crime Line to identify third person of interest in Celestino Rodriguez case

KCBD Newschannel 11 at 10 Crime Line and Community Tips

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Captain Ray Mendoza of the Lubbock Police Department said he would estimate close to 98 percent of their cases are solved because of phone calls from people in the community.

He said that is due in large part to Crime Line and the local media, including KCBD.

“As soon as you guys put it on the news and sent out your alerts and such, people pay attention and so they immediately started calling in saying hey we know who that is,” Mendoza said.

The Lubbock Police Department sent information about a third person of interest in the Celestino Rodriguez case to the media, who shared it with the public.

“Almost immediately we started getting Crime Line tips, we started getting phone calls to the front desk, social media, they started sending us private messages,” Mendoza said.

Through these tips, LPD was able to identify the man.

“We learned of a third person of interest. He was spotted using the victim’s debit card, and so we want to reach out to him to find out what he knows,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said there is also an undeniable correlation between tips received and the amount of reward money offered from Crime Line.

“The more money we’re willing to give out, the more people will step forward,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said the money Crime Line pays out comes from generous donations from local individuals and businesses.

In the Celestino Rodriguez case, the Kerby & Wade law firm contributed to the Crime Line reward.

Lawyer David Kerby said additional reward money leads to a large amount of tips in some scenarios.

Kerby said this is the fourth time his firm has partnered with the police department to provide additional reward money.

“We want the officers, the detectives, to be able to find the persons of interest, we also want to help the Rodriquez family and all the detectives in this matter hopefully solve this,” Kerby said.

The number for Crime Line is 806-741-1000.

As always, you can remain anonymous.

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