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The Roy Faires Collection, no. 49 - Crime Stoppers Report on Cowboy Bandit (1981)

Austin History Center

Sound | 1981

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    Crime Stoppers Crime of the Month dramatization about the “Cowboy Bandit,” who robbed several banks around Austin and across the Texas-Louisiana region in the early 1980s
     
  •  Surveillance camera photos of the robber 
  •  He sure does like his hats 
 
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This footage features the edited Crime Stoppers Crime of the Month segment. It aired in 1981 on KVUE-TV’s 24 Action News in Austin. The report covers the “Cowboy Bandit,” an armed robber who struck seven banks in the Austin area and several others across Texas and Louisiana in 1980 and 1981. Roy Faires produced the dramatization featured in the story and lends his voice for the narration. He worked as a special project director and entertainment critic/reporter at KVUE-TV, Austin’s ABC affiliate, from 1976-1989.
Crime Stoppers is a program that reenacts crimes and encourages citizens to call in with tips about the case, ensuring their anonymity. The idea was developed in 1975 after the murder of a young man in Alberquerque, New Mexico went unsolved. Detective Greg MacAleese had the idea to go to a local television station and encourage them to reenact the crime for viewers, and he offered a reward to anyone who assisted in an arrest. A caller recognized the situation and offered information, but preferred to remain anonymous. This showed authorities the importance of community involvement in solving crimes, and regional divisions of Crime Stoppers now operate all over the United States, having lead to many successful arrests. Since its inception in 1976, Crime Stoppers in the United States has been responsible for more than half a million arrests and more than $4 billion in recovered property.
 
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