Tip to Crime Stoppers lands attacker behind bars


by KVUE News


Posted on April 20, 2012 at 9:35 AM

An elderly Austin woman was violently assaulted in a store parking lot. Thanks to a tip to Capital Area Crime Stoppers, her attacker is now behind bars.

Anna Warren, 84, has lived in Austin all her life. But her quiet peaceful routine was shaken when she became the victim of a violent crime.

"I was coming from getting my flu shot going into Sears and young man came from Sears interior coming out. And I thought he was opening the door for me. And I went forward to go in. And when I knew anything I was on the ground," she said. 

It happened on Sept. 19 at the back door of the Sears at Hancock Center around 10:30 in the morning. Store video shows the great-grandmother walking in. Out of range of the camera is a man holding the door open. He then charges her, grabs her purse, and pulls her to the ground leaving her unconscious.

Ms. Warren told KVUE, "When I came to, police was around and I said, 'Where am I?'"

Police needed help identifying the attacker.

"At the time there was no identification. We had no idea who this person was," said Austin Police Officer Luis Cadena. "Video was put out to the public. We started getting a couple of tips. One of them, in particular, was very detailed about the person who was responsible for it. Investigators began to look at this particular individual and put a case together. We filed a warrant and we ended up apprehending that individual, that suspect."

Within days, that anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers lead police to Willie Sauls. He was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.

Crime stoppers is an important crime fighting tool. Since Austin Crime Stoppers started in 1979, 10,529 crimes have been solved thanks to Crime Stoppers. That includes 172 murders.

While the ordeal has left Ms. Warren traumatized, she is pleased her attacker has been brought to justice.

Austin's Crime Stoppers is one of the most successful crime fighting programs in the state. Capital area Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that relies on your donations.