Tip line helps police and awards money

By Gus Bode

A good tip could be worth $1,000.

Crime Stoppers is an anonymous tip line used by both Carbondale and SIUC police. People with information about crimes or suspects can report it to police and earn money.

The program began in 1993 and has awarded more than $26,000 in cash for information, Carbondale Police Officer Randy Mathis said.

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Crime Stoppers Spaghetti Dinner at 5 p.m. Thursday at Carbondale Middle School on 1150 E. Grand Ave. Admission for adults $6 and children $3.

“What we do is we take the information from the crime stopper tip, forward that to the officers to work on, and if the tip actually leads to an arrest then the tipster would be eligible for a reward,” Mathis said.

The awards are based on a point system. The rewards range from $50 to the $1,000, and a board of volunteers determines how much is paid.

Jack Whitlock, president of the eight-member Crime Stoppers board, said the board meets once a month to discuss the tips and decide on the amount to pay. Mathis assists the board in determining the reward amount, Whitlock said.

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“There’s a formula that we established years ago,” he said. “Depending on the nature of the crime and the severity of the crime [Mathis] has a method to determine how much the tip should pay.”

For more information contact Officer Randy Mathis at (618) 457-3200 ext 428. Crime Stoppers tip line is (618) 549-2677.

Mathis said the first requirement for a reward is that a tip leads to an arrest.

After the arrest several other factors are used to calculate the reward.

“The actual offense has a certain amount of points valued to it,” Mathis said. “Any recoveries that we made based on the arrest; was there property, was there cash, were there stolen items, those things have a value to them.”

Mathis said eight tips led to arrests in 2006 and Crime Stoppers paid out $3,250.

SIUC police also receive tips from the program. Officer Scott Miller said the program is an effective tool to help solve crimes.

“Honestly one of the things that makes it effective is that there is a chance for someone to call in anonymously and get a reward out of it,” Miller said.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, Crime Stoppers will host a spaghetti dinner at Carbondale Middle School to earn money to pay for tips.

“There are expenses that Crime Stoppers has,” Mathis said. “It’s a volunteer board so the members don’t get paid, but we do have expenses. As far as paying off the tips, that’s the No. 1 thing we do.”

[email protected] 536-3311 ext. 273

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