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Crimestoppers Guarantees Anonymity, Pays out Thousands for Tips

9:59 PM, Aug 31, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  First Coast Crimestoppers has taken in more than 2,530 tips this year.

"The shooting the other night, 11 people that's crazy. We've gotten some calls on that," said Wyllie Hodges, the executive director of the local chapter.

Hodges said six calls have come in so far on Tuesday's bloody rampage in Brooklyn, all with information on who the shooters are.

He also guarantees the anonymity of those callers; even he doesn't know who they are.

"You are anonymous, 100 percent anonymous. Don't know who you are, don't want to know who you are. If you try to tell us who you are, we don't take it," said Hodges.

Once you make the call to Crimestoppers, the tipster becomes a code number, like 12-45.

"From here on out, you are 12-45 and any time we have contact with you that's the only thing we know to go by," said Hodges.

This is how Crimestoppers keeps it anonymous. When you call, your tip doesn't go to the Jacksonville office. Instead, it goes to a call center in Canada.

The tip is then sent by email to the Jacksonville branch.  Callers are given that code number, and a Jacksonville phone number to call for weekly updates on whether or not an arrest was made.

"All of the phone lines that you call, or we refer you to cannot be traced," said Hodges.

If you get a reward, that code number is all you need in order to collect. "We'll tell them the bank to go to. Tell them to go through the teller, don't go through the bank. All you've got to say is I'm 12-45." 

Hodges said it's a cash reward.

With more than 800 crimes solved last year, because of Crimestoppers tips, the office works hard to keep its promise.

"If we ever break that anonymity issue then we might as well shut the door," said Hodges.

So far this year, $68,000 has been paid out in rewards. 

The number to Crimestoppers is 1-866-845-TIPS.

First Coast News

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