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New Crime Stoppers Program Pays Cash for Anonymous Info

Jan. 7, 2008 — The newly formed Crime Stoppers USVI is offering rewards of up to $2,500 cash for completely anonymous tips leading to the arrest of criminals or the confiscation of significant amounts of illegal weapons or contraband.
The Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS phone line allows citizens to assist in getting criminals arrested, stolen property recovered and drugs and guns off the streets, with callers never having to identify themselves or testify in court.
Judi Fricks and Alan Brown of the newly created V.I. chapter of the international Crime Stoppers program joined police and Justice Department officials Wednesday to unveil and promote the program in police headquarters at Hannah's Rest on St. Croix.
"We know we have a problem with a lack of witnesses coming forward, and we want to help," said Alan Brown, the civilian coordinator of the program. "Because it is completely anonymous, there is no fear. You never go to court. We never have to know your name. So maybe this will help people come forward more readily."
The program is run by a local, private nonprofit organization, not the police department, Brown explained. And the tip line goes to a service in the States and cannot be traced.
"When you call in, it jumps to a second switchboard so at that point nobody can trace it," Brown said. "It goes to a telephone answering service just for Crime Stoppers, and they forward anything to do with the Virgin Islands to us. I eliminate any portion of the message that might inadvertently identify the caller and pass it along to St. Croix Police Chief Thomas Hannah, who is coordinating the program."
Hannah has been on medical leave and has not yet resumed his full duties.
"We can keep the discussion going both ways, passing information back and forth," Brown said. "Then, once there is an arrest, we can place the reward, in cash if you like, anyplace you like, within reason, and you don't have to sign anything, pick it up in person or reveal yourself in any way."
Added Police Commissioner James McCall, "Remember, these rewards are in addition to those the police department offers."
Crime Stoppers gives the rewards on a sliding scale, with the most money going toward the most serious crimes and the most valuable information, Brown said.
Police Commissioner James McCall and Attorney General Vincent Frazer praised the program and encouraged residents to get involved.
"We see Crime Stoppers as a valuable tool to help us get information to solve crimes," Frazer said.
In addition to the tip line and cash rewards, starting next week Crime Stoppers plans to publicize a crime a week for all three islands, sending news releases to all the major media outlets Tuesday evening for publication Wednesday.
"We want it all put out the same information on the same day, to get the maximum number of people talking about the story and hopefully jog some memories," Brown said.
You can call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or you can leave a tip anonymously through the Crime Stoppers website.
The new V.I. chapter of Crime Stoppers is also looking for help.
"This is all funded by the community," Fricks said. "Memberships are $50, to make it affordable for most people."
The local chapter is governed by a 13-member board of trustees, with three members on St. John and the remainder split between St. Croix and St. Thomas. They are seeking volunteers to serve on the board and in other capacities, too.
Crime Stoppers was the brainchild of a young Albuquerque detective frustrated that all possible leads had been exhausted regarding the murder of a young college student. He felt information that would solve the crime was available from someone other than the criminal. Members of the local community, media and law enforcement came together in partnership to begin the effort to provide crime-solving assistance to law enforcement, and the first Crime Stoppers program was born on Sept. 8, 1976. Today community and student Crime Stoppers programs reach around the world and are represented by the nation/regions of the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, Australia and the south and western Pacific.
Over its 32 years of existence, Crime Stoppers has paid out $88 million in rewards. With an average of $118 per arrest and a 95-percent conviction rate, a great many criminals have been taken off the streets.
You can call 244-5699 for more information, but remember; that is not the tip line. More information is also available at the website.
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Jan. 7, 2008 -- The newly formed Crime Stoppers USVI is offering rewards of up to $2,500 cash for completely anonymous tips leading to the arrest of criminals or the confiscation of significant amounts of illegal weapons or contraband.
The Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS phone line allows citizens to assist in getting criminals arrested, stolen property recovered and drugs and guns off the streets, with callers never having to identify themselves or testify in court.
Judi Fricks and Alan Brown of the newly created V.I. chapter of the international Crime Stoppers program joined police and Justice Department officials Wednesday to unveil and promote the program in police headquarters at Hannah's Rest on St. Croix.
"We know we have a problem with a lack of witnesses coming forward, and we want to help," said Alan Brown, the civilian coordinator of the program. "Because it is completely anonymous, there is no fear. You never go to court. We never have to know your name. So maybe this will help people come forward more readily."
The program is run by a local, private nonprofit organization, not the police department, Brown explained. And the tip line goes to a service in the States and cannot be traced.
"When you call in, it jumps to a second switchboard so at that point nobody can trace it," Brown said. "It goes to a telephone answering service just for Crime Stoppers, and they forward anything to do with the Virgin Islands to us. I eliminate any portion of the message that might inadvertently identify the caller and pass it along to St. Croix Police Chief Thomas Hannah, who is coordinating the program."
Hannah has been on medical leave and has not yet resumed his full duties.
"We can keep the discussion going both ways, passing information back and forth," Brown said. "Then, once there is an arrest, we can place the reward, in cash if you like, anyplace you like, within reason, and you don't have to sign anything, pick it up in person or reveal yourself in any way."
Added Police Commissioner James McCall, "Remember, these rewards are in addition to those the police department offers."
Crime Stoppers gives the rewards on a sliding scale, with the most money going toward the most serious crimes and the most valuable information, Brown said.
Police Commissioner James McCall and Attorney General Vincent Frazer praised the program and encouraged residents to get involved.
"We see Crime Stoppers as a valuable tool to help us get information to solve crimes," Frazer said.
In addition to the tip line and cash rewards, starting next week Crime Stoppers plans to publicize a crime a week for all three islands, sending news releases to all the major media outlets Tuesday evening for publication Wednesday.
"We want it all put out the same information on the same day, to get the maximum number of people talking about the story and hopefully jog some memories," Brown said.
You can call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or you can leave a tip anonymously through the Crime Stoppers website.
The new V.I. chapter of Crime Stoppers is also looking for help.
"This is all funded by the community," Fricks said. "Memberships are $50, to make it affordable for most people."
The local chapter is governed by a 13-member board of trustees, with three members on St. John and the remainder split between St. Croix and St. Thomas. They are seeking volunteers to serve on the board and in other capacities, too.
Crime Stoppers was the brainchild of a young Albuquerque detective frustrated that all possible leads had been exhausted regarding the murder of a young college student. He felt information that would solve the crime was available from someone other than the criminal. Members of the local community, media and law enforcement came together in partnership to begin the effort to provide crime-solving assistance to law enforcement, and the first Crime Stoppers program was born on Sept. 8, 1976. Today community and student Crime Stoppers programs reach around the world and are represented by the nation/regions of the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, Australia and the south and western Pacific.
Over its 32 years of existence, Crime Stoppers has paid out $88 million in rewards. With an average of $118 per arrest and a 95-percent conviction rate, a great many criminals have been taken off the streets.
You can call 244-5699 for more information, but remember; that is not the tip line. More information is also available at the website.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.