How you stay anonymous when providing a tip to Crime Stoppers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How you stay anonymous when providing a tip to Crime Stoppers

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KENNEWICK, WA - Over the years, Crime Stoppers has been successful in the amount of crime and drugs they've taken off of the streets. At the end of the day, they want to close cases and tie up loose ends. They tell NBC Right Now that most of the cases they solve are because the public feels comfortable being able to report a tip anonymously.

The majority of crimes that are solved in our area are based off tips from citizens giving information to Crime Stoppers. One of the main reasons people contact them is because they want to remain anonymous.

It's important to note that Crime Stoppers is completely independent of law enforcement. People can be reluctant to come forward and talk to law enforcement because they don't want to be a part of an investigation, but that's not the case with Crime Stoppers.

"The big emphasis and the major thing about Crime Stoppers is that people are reluctant to come forward sometimes to talk to law enforcement," said Mike Blatman, Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers liason. "They want to be anonymous, they don't want to have to pick up the phone and call 911 or the non-emergency number to the dispatch center because that information is recorded, and it is documented where those calls are coming from."

Crime Stoppers works with hardware that helps reduce the chance of a person being identified. So when they do get an anonymous tip, they have no idea where the call is coming from because there's no caller ID. They also don't accept text messages because those can be geotagged.

You can be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for giving information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest. So how do you get paid if you're anonymously reporting this information? You're issued an ID and a password, so when you submit your tip you can then check the status of the person's case online. Again, because it's completely anonymous, you're not paid directly from Crime Stoppers: you have to go to a bank to get your reward.

We're partnering up with Crime Stoppers for our big Shred Day event on April 21st. The event is free, but Crime Stoppers will be taking donations.