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Women Making a Difference: Crime Stoppers director helping victims for more than decade

HOUSTON – We often hear about the immediate impacts of crime -- families left grieving lost loved ones or the search for some stolen article or artifact. But we less often hear about the people working to prevent those crimes.

Rania Mankarious is the executive director of Crime Stoppers in Houston and has been passionate about spreading the message of public safety.

"We're more than that incredible wonderful Tipline,” Mankarious said about Crimestoppers. “We're in the communities, we're in the schools, we're removing weapons before they can be used against students, we're in neighborhoods (and) we're protecting businesses."

Mankarious has been working with Crimestoppers since 2006, when she moved to Texas with her family and was offered an internship at Crimestoppers for $10 an hour.

Mankarious, who has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center, knew she would take the job no matter the title or pay.

"I hear everything that I've ever loved (in the interview),” she said. “Working with the media, working with the community, representing law enforcement, social justice, positive change .... and I said, "I'll take whatever position you have.'"

And she has touched the lives of the people her organization has helped -- victims of crime such as Gail Stalarow.

"Before I could even get out of the car I was robbed at gunpoint,” Stalarow said.

Stalarow was getting out of her car in a Meyerland shopping center one afternoon when a woman approached her, pointed a gun at her, and demanded her money, purse, and jewelry, including a ring that had been passed down from Stalarow’s mother-in-law.

After working diligently with investigators, Stalarow learned that Crimestoppers had assisted police in solving her case, and was later introduced to Mankarious through the organization.

"(Mankarious) makes every person feel like the most important person in the room," Stalarow said. "She's touching and changing so many lives, and really having such an incredible impact on this entire city and I don't think people are aware of it."

To learn more about Mankarious’ work at Crime Stoppers, click link.

To learn more about Crime Stoppers or to submit a tip, click link.