“We don’t want your name, just your information.”
The board of directors for Crime Stoppers of Barton County and Great Bend may give away hundreds of dollars in any given month. They don’t have a clue who gets the cash, but they know it helps solves local crimes.
That’s because Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to arrests or the recovery of stolen property, said Jere Buehler, board member.
“Last month we gave away $500 in rewards,” he said. “It was for a call that resulted in four arrests.” That anonymous tip led officers to stop a suspicious vehicle circling around the Great Bend High School area. Illegal drugs were found.
An earlier call helped police find the juveniles responsible for vandalism at Golden Belt Cinema 6, said board member JP Postlethwaite. That information was also rewarded.
“We want to stress the anonymity of Crime Stoppers,” Buehler said. “That’s our No. 1 priority.”
People leave tips by calling 792-1300 or, for toll-free calls outside of Great Bend, 888-305-1300. Callers receive instructions on how to find out later if they have earned a reward, and how to collect it. “It can take a month or two,” Buehler said.
There are two times that board members know where Crime Stoppers money is going. The first is when they award Crime Stoppers scholarships. Two $250 scholarships are given to graduating seniors or students planning to attend Barton Community College and who have an interest in crime prevention in Barton County.
They also know where the money goes each year when a drawing is held for $100 Great Bend Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. People can sign up at the Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo and five names are drawn. The 2017 drawing winners were announced Wednesday: Kim Sneath, Rosie Meier, Sean Miller and Ed Heier, all of Great Bend; and Deanna Heier from Hoisington.
Crime Stoppers is funded primarily through donations, including the donations of individuals who receive diversions in Barton County District Court. Anyone interested in making a donation can call the Crime Stoppers telephone numbers for more information, Postlethwaite said. “They can remain anonymous too, if they want to.”