Digging Deeper: Crime Stoppers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Crime Stoppers

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Who say's crime doesn't pay. It does for those willing to pick up the phone and make an anonymous tip.

Since Crime Stoppers was resurrected in 2007, they've paid out more than five-thousand dollars in 32 different rewards for tips that lead to arrests.

They're a non-profit organization made up of community and business leaders and are not run by the police department.

The tip line gets about 10 good tips a month that assist with cases.

With hundreds of miles of roads to patrol, Albany Police can't be everywhere. That's why a non-profit agency is bringing the police, community, and local media together to work as a team to fight crime. Recent tips to Crime Stoppers have pulled church burglars and graffiti artists off the streets.

"No information that comes through the tip line is small. Like I said all the tips are looked at and reviewed by detectives," said Phyllis Banks, Albany Police Media Manager.

Digging Deeper we wanted to know how it works. When you call the Crime Stoppers tip line, your call goes to an answering service in Canada. Every caller is assigned an anonymous reference number and their tip is emailed to all local policing agencies.

"They never have to give their name, they are then given a number and ID number they can use later to call back to see if they're eligible for the reward," said Judy Randle, Crime Stoppers Board Member.

Just consider the damage done to this property on Dawson Road. It was a tip through Crime Stoppers that caught the suspects.

"We got a tip that came in, one of our detectives followed through with that tip and it helped develop one of the suspects which then lead to the arrest of a second individual," said Banks.

The payout for the tipster, $500. It isn't just catching crooks on Albany streets, a tip from here led to an arrest in Texas.

"An individual from Albany called in a tip to Austin Texas, they were looking for a federal fugitive and the information that person gave through Crime Stoppers lead to that arrest," said Banks.

Again the payout $450. Rewards have increased as more businesses and community members offer up support.

"We are a small group a non profit group and we've been able to obtain some funds through fundraising and we had a donation from the city," said Randle.

Albany Police say they're now working to keep better information about how many tips are leading to arrests, they know the system is working, now they want to find out how well.

Albany Crime Stoppers is also working to get the tip line better recognized in the community. They're putting up a billboard on Mock Road and they've put up Sign at some of Albany's bus shelters. They've also passed out more than 3,000 English pamphlets and 1,000 Spanish pamphlets and say they have pamphlets available for any local civic organizations that's interested. You can also find Albany Crime Stoppers on facebook and at their website at http://albanycrimestoppers.com

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