SAFER STREETS: Anonymous program receives 500 tips a year

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR is checking up on the anonymous tips program that is working to make the Tri-Cities safer.

Not a week goes by when someone has their face plastered on TV, wanted by police.

Many alerts come from Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers. The system takes your anonymous tips and offers a reward if the suspect is identified and captured. The lure of the cash is a welcome reward. Action News learned since Crime Stoppers was introduced 20 years ago, more than 6,000 crimes have been solved from anonymous tips, including a case that happened at Kennewick's Golf Universe.

"It's nice to know somebody could see a face or put a face to a name and call the police," says Lionel Kunka, Manager of Golf Universe.

Back in September, a man used a stolen credit card and went on a shopping spree at Golf Universe. Security cameras snapped his face and Crime Stoppers sent out a bulletin. The man was eventually arrested.

Dozens of tips came in. Surprisingly, most tipsters aren't in it for the money. Most of them just want to give information about the crime and get it off their chest.

In fact, only 10% of people who contributed tips have actually asked for a reward, but that's not to say money isn't being given out.
In the last decade, more than $70,000 was paid to reliable tipsters, with plenty more to come.

In recent years, more than 100 criminals in the Tri-Cities have been caught thanks to Crime Stoppers, meaning safer streets for us all.

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization, meaning none of your tax dollars are used to support it.