The Kansas City Crime Stoppers are seeing an increase in tips via text and online submissions — getting criminals off the streets.
Detective Kevin Boehm said the system is simple to use and completely confidential.
“Everything is anonymous through us,” he said. “All the information is scrambled and scrubbed before it gets to us.”
Boehm said Crime Stoppers uses security software that uses two servers that encrypt information, making phone numbers and IP addresses impossible to trace.
“Anonymity is a big thing,” he said. “It’s why the Crime Stoppers were created. We are completely anonymous.”
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Using the TIPS Hotline has literally paid off. Boehm said offering cash to people who may be hesitant to contact authorities about a crime motivates them to act.
“We’ve got several [tips] we actually have paid out on,” he said.
When a tip proves helpful, Crime Stoppers notifies the tipster through those information-scrambling servers and asks the tipster to collect their money on a particular date.
“We never have face-to-face contact,” Boehm said. “A third party pays them. We use various locations, typically at a financial institution, using a drive-through.”
Boehm said tipsters can even include pictures when sending text and/or online tips.
“We’ve seen a surge in web submissions,” Boehm said. “When sending a tip online on a computer, people can attach video or pictures, which is hugely helpful.”
To send tips via text:
Send your message to 274 637. Those numbers spell the word “crimes.” In your text message include the code TIP 452.
To send tips online:
Click here to submit a tip online. Fill out the form and then click “Submit Tip” at the bottom of the page.