Courtesy of Van Zandt County Crimestoppers

Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers has authorized $900 in rewards for tips that led to the recent arrests of five people, including three suspects wanted in connection with the fiery explosion at an oil storage tank facility north of Van.

A single $600 reward was approved for an anonymous caller whose tip led to the arrest of two Edgewood brothers. One brother was wanted on a bond forfeiture warrant for assault with a deadly weapon. The other brother was wanted on a felony drunk driving charge.

Multiple tipsters will share a $300 reward for information they provided that helped identify three suspects in the January 29 oil tank explosion, caused when a lit cigarette ignited fumes. The three suspects subsequently turned themselves in to authorities.

"We’re very pleased that this oil tank explosion prompted numerous calls to Crime Stoppers to help point authorities to the individuals involved,” said Andy Flowers, president of Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers. "It shows that people are increasingly aware that they can provide this information to us anonymously, and get a reward for doing that.”

Flowers wanted to emphasize to tip callers that in order to collect on their cash reward at the bank, they must know the entire code number. Each caller is given a four-digit number when they call in the tip, then must call Crime Stoppers back once a reward is approved to get the complete reward code number.

Crime Stoppers’ cash rewards are designed to encourage anonymous tips that lead to the arrest of a criminal offender who has either just committed a crime or is wanted on a warrant. The Crime Stoppers number is 903-567-STOP (567-7867). Rewards of up to $1,000 are financed by criminal court fines and donations. More information about Crime Stoppers is available at www.vanzandtcrimestoppers.orgor on Facebook.