By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald

Crime Stoppers tips have led to the Killeen Police Department identifying three suspects in separate crimes this week.

On Friday, KPD said a man wanted on a charge of debit card abuse turned himself in. The previous day, KPD said it knew who the suspect was.

Nathaniel MelvinRay Hemple, 18, turned himself in without incident at KPD headquarters just after 5 p.m. Thursday. Hemple and 19-year-old Jonathan Paul Painter, both of Copperas Cove, have been charged with debit card abuse.

KPD spokeswoman Carroll Smith said the department thanks people who gave tips to Crime Stoppers that led to the department identifying suspects.

“The program, it speaks for itself in the fact that we may not have ever solved these cases without it,” Smith said.

Painter remains at large, and authorities are waiting for him to turn himself in. Painter was arrested June 24 in Copperas Cove on a charge of credit card abuse. He was arraigned June 25 and released after posting $5,000 bond.

Police believe the two teenagers are responsible for a June 15 burglary of a vehicle in the 3000 block of Levy Lane. A debit card was taken from the vehicle and used at a local 7-Eleven and Walmart.

Crime Stoppers also led police to a suspect in another case of debit card abuse. KPD has not released the suspect’s name; however, the department released a surveillance photo of the suspect and his car that led to a tip identifying the man.

Smith said participation between the department and community was critical in the arrests.

“This is what we need. If people don’t want to get involved, they can remain anonymous,” she said.

Tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-8477, or by texting KILLEEN along with the tip to 274637.

All tips are confidential and anonymous. A tipster with information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.