Anonymity is key to the success of Crime Stoppers

CINCINNATI (WXIX) — Greater Cincinnati Crime Stoppers says its cash-for-learn system helps solve crimes.

“I think any police officer in the world will tell you that someone knows something. We just have to make it worth passing on that information,” Cincinnati Police Specialist Lesa Baker.

People call Crime Stoppers with tips while remaining anonymous.

“The first thing they want to know is should I say my name? And I reassure them, no, we don’t use names here,” Baker said.

Informants who call Crime Stoppers receive a code number associated with their information, as do people who leave tips online.

They must log in or call back within 30 days if they want to receive the reward if it leads to an arrest.

“Most of the time they know the person was arrested before us, and they call us back and say I saw that person was arrested, was it because of my tip? Most of the time it was,” Baker said.

Crime Stoppers has a board that approves the reward amounts, then the tipster takes their unique number to a bank to collect the money.

Although knowing someone could lead to an arrest, Crime Stoppers say many callers choose not to collect their rewards.

“Keeping people anonymous, I believe, is the key feature. I think people will like the rewards. But most of the time the reward is kind of secondary. They just want to be able to stay anonymous,” said Gene Ferrara, president of Greater Cincinnati Crime Stoppers.

$83,000 in rewards were distributed by Crime Stoppers in 2021 and authorities were able to close 186 cases in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Of this total, 22 homicide investigations have been resolved.

Since Crime Stoppers began in the area, nearly 13,000 arrests have been made, settling just under 17,000 cases.

“I think the main thing is that most communities don’t want criminals in their community,” Baker said.

Police are constantly looking for many clues in the cases, so if you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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Mark M. Gagnon