Thousands of dollars in reward money has gone unclaimed for tips about solved homicides

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been a year since the city started offering a $10,000 reward for tips that help police solve homicides.

Records show more money has resulted in more information for homicide detectives.

KC Crimestoppers says police are getting more tips about homicide cases since the reward increase. And that was one of goals behind the boost.

Kansas City, Kansas, has since followed by offering $5,000 for information about homicides in that city.

In an unusual twist, four tips in four separate cases during the last year have qualified for the $10,000 reward, but the TIPS hotline coordinator says no one has come forward to claim any of the money.

That may be good news for city taxpayers, who have not had to pay $40,000 in cash in exchange for getting four killers off the streets.

"They may think there’s some kind of catch here," said Detective Kevin Boehm, TIPS Hotline coordinator. "Some of our tipsters may have warrants themselves. They think they may get in trouble. Some people may believe it's not truly anonymous. I do encounter that when I go out and speak with the public."

Boehm says the process is a simple one. The tipster receives a code and is told where and when to pick up their money at different locations across the city.

It's all paid in cash and there's never any face-to-face contact with the tipster.

Crimestoppers has actually paid two $50,000 rewards this way in previous years.

The TIPS hotline averages between six and eight homicides a year that are solved thanks to anonymous tips. Nationally, Boehm says between 60 and 70 percent of approved rewards are never collected.

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