High Point, NC -- Identity protection for tipsters is the key to Crimestoppers.
Police can't witness every crime. But chances are, someone knows who did what. Not everyone wants to tell what they know. That's where Crimestoppers and It's anonymous tips line comes in.
But how does Crimestoppers guarantee your identity is safe?We went to the High Point Crimestoppers office to get answers.
"I had that misconception before I started at the police department, " says Amy Southards. "That someone knows who they are--they're just not telling who they arrest so I can understand how the public would feel that way. I would just hope they would understand this police department has taken extreme measures to protect the anonymity."
Technology helps Crimestoppers keep your identity a secret in several ways. When you call in, you get a number assigned to you. Your name is never asked.
When you send a tip by text, the tip goes through software that removes numbers and characters.The software turns your text tip into an email with an assigned tipster number.
The bottom line is, if Crimestoppers can't protect your identity they don't have a program. And the program works.So far this year High Point Police have arrested 33 people thanks to Crimestoppers tips.
Also, police have seized $20,335 worth of drugs and property and given nearly 5,000 in reward money to tipsters.You probably won't know every time a tip solves a crime, but we had to tell you about this one:
"Probably the biggest case I've had was last summer when a Brinks truck was robbed outside of Suntrust Bank on Eastchester Drive. We got tips in through text."
Police arrested six people in that robbery all thanks to tipsters.