The History of Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers first began in Albuquerque, New Mexico during July 1975.

Crime Stoppers first began in Albuquerque, New Mexico during July 1975, which saw the fatal shooting of Michael Carmen while he was working one night at a local filling station. After two weeks the police had no information when out of desperation Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local television station requesting a reconstruction of the crime. The re-enactment offered $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest of the killers.

Within 72 hours, a person called in identifying a car leaving the scene at high speed and he had noted its registration. The person calling said that he did not want to get involved so he had not called earlier. Detective MacAleese then realized that fear and apathy were the primary reasons why the public tended not to get involved. So he helped design a system where the public could anonymously provide details of the events. This system focused on stimulating community involvement and participation, taking advantage of every possible media opportunity, especially electronic media, to publicize unsolved crimes; and offering cash rewards for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction.

Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers in the United States has been responsible for more than half a million arrests and more than $4 billion in recovered property.

Why Do We Need Crime Stoppers?

Crime Stoppers serves many purposes within the community. Here are just a few:

  • To promote community welfare & inform/educate the public to further protect them from criminal activity.
  • To motivate the public to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
  • To lessen the burden of law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of criminals.
  • To help develop a community against crime.

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The Essential Elements of Crime Stoppers

Citizens are responsible for forming a Crime Stoppers non-profit corporation, whose directors establish policy, determine amount and method of reward payments, work closely with the police and the media and generally oversee the program. The directors are also responsible for fundraising, and all volunteer service. Tax money is not sought.

Crime Stoppers methods, objectives, successes and phone numbers are publicized on a regular basis by the media. An unsolved “Crime of the Week” is given special treatment with details published in newspapers, on radio and in certain cases a re-enactment on television.

A special Crime Stoppers phone with a well publicized number is provided to the community.Callers are assigned a special Code number and NEVER give their names. Crime Stoppers will pass the tip along to local law enforcement.

If the information leads to an arrest, the caller is entitled to a reward. Help us identify people who are wanted or who you have seen commit a crime. Receive $500-$5,000 dollars for a tip that leads to a felony arrest.

Paid for by the Office of the Attorney General, Crime Stoppers Trust Fund