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Anonymity is key for KC Crime Stoppers reward money

Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline.jpg
Posted at 5:20 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 19:51:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly every time there is a major crime in the Kansas City area, the public is urged to call the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline with any information.

There's an been influx of calls to the Crime Stoppers hotline, ever since the tips reward amount to jumped to $25,000 two months ago.

The program is based on anonymity.

"Presumably, the reason they're contacting Crime Stoppers is they want to stay anonymous, they don't want to be subpoenaed to go to court, they don't want to have to make a formal witness statement with the police, which we understand it's why we're in that area we work in," Detective Kevin Boehm, coordinator at the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers said.

The increase in money has generated more than 900 tips.

Almost 200 of those are related to homicide cases, that's up 40 percent compared to the same time last year.

"Best case scenario, for the police and for the prosecutors, is that you work with them directly. Now, the drawback to that is you would not be eligible for a reward," Boehm said.

Which is what happened to a woman who 41 Action News is not identifying to protect her identity.

"When I seen that you know his picture popped up and I seen the charge, I didn't even see the reward money I was looking at the charge," the woman said.

She said she initially phoned in a tip, but she eventually spoke with police directly.

"Every time they called me they knew my first and last name," the woman said.

However, police didn't get her personal information from the hotline.

"We don't actually do any in-house investigation here," Boehm told 41 Action News.

Tipsters are given a code number which they can use to see if their tip leads to an arrest.

"It's our law enforcement partners that tell us which tips are good," Boehm said. "They do look into all of them, but not every tip results in an arrest and we don't pay out on every tip."

At the end of the day all the woman 41 Action News spoke with cares about is that another bad guy is off the street.

"To be honest, even if I don't get it, as long as I know that he's not able to harm another child," she said.

If you have information on a crime here in the metro, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477), visit their website or download their mobile app.