ST. LOUIS-More than six months into 2021, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Regional Crimestoppers says the non-profit organization is on pace to surpass last year’s totals for anonymous tips received and in the amounts paid out for rewards.
In 2020, CrimeStoppers paid $79,650 in rewards for tips leading to solved homicide, robbery and assault cases, among others. It took in 2,542 anonymous tips in 2020.
So far in 2021, the organization reports taking in 1,728 tips and distributing $55,000. Roughly $74,000 had been paid out this time last year, according to Lisa Pisciotta, the Executive Director for St. Louis Regional Crimestoppers and the St. Louis Regional Crime Commission.
Reward totals do not include additional funds offered to generate information in specific high-profile cases. For example, CrimeStoppers announced that private donors had offered up to $40,000 for information related to the case of slain former St. Louis police captain David Dorn last summer.
Since the program began in St. Louis 16 years ago, Pisciotta says the tips, which are taken anonymously, either over the phone at 1-866-371-TIPS and online has led to the seizure of $7 million dollars worth of drugs, 766 arrests, 2,650 criminal charges, and $483,545 in total rewards passed out (also done anonymously).
“When someone is brave enough to call CrimeStoppers, we take the information on the crime, not their name, not their location, not their phone number, the information on the crime that was committed,” she told FOX2 last month. “That information goes into a program and directly within moments to the detectives or the agency that is investigating it, those detectives get the information.”
Pisciotta said sometimes she calls the detective working on the case as she is putting in the information so they can look at the tip right away.
“Which is what this program is designed to do, get the information in the hands of the investigators as soon as possible, so they can get out on the street and take care of that, the sooner the better,” she said.
Officers and detectives let CrimeStoppers know if a tip led to an arrest so the tipster can be rewarded.
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years and it’s very satisfying to see the arrests made and the info come back and say you know this tip helped,” she said.
FOX2’s Zara Barker contributed reporting for this story.