Crime Line an important local resource
Published 9:28 pm Friday, May 12, 2017
By John Carr
At about 1 a.m. Thursday, the Circle K store on West Washington Street was robbed. The police quickly released a detailed description of the perpetrator, along with photos and video.
The robber covered up with a hoodie, glasses, a face mask and coverings on his hands. Still, chances are good he stood out like a sore thumb to a reader. The glasses, hand coverings and face mask looked like a potentially recognizable combination if the robber is a local.
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Most people are happy to see the bad apples that can make their neighborhood less safe get the justice they deserve.
Many would like to help but prefer not to get tangled up in the legal system. They want a way to simply pass on a bit of information that will help law enforcement and to do it anonymously. Perhaps they wish to avoid attracting the attention of a bad element. Maybe they don’t want to be interviewed by police, to be subpoenaed or to be put on a witness stand.
The Crime Line system was created in 1982 TO provide a venue for such tips. According to the city of Suffolk’s website, more than 15,000 cases have been closed and millions of dollars worth of stolen property and drugs have been recovered with the help of Crime Line tips.
Through the years, many anonymous tipsters have received cash rewards of up to $1,000 for their assistance.
Tipsters calling, texting or using the TipSubmit mobile app do not give any personal information, and no records of phone numbers are kept. Tipsters just leave a message and get a code. If the law enforcement investigation leads to an arrest as a result of a tip, the Crime Line board awards a cash reward to the tip number.
The tipster simply shows up at Bronco Federal Credit Union and asks if there is a reward for their tip number. They do not have to show identification, and bank employees have no knowledge of the cases tips are related to.
If an arrest related to their tip has been made, they are given a cash reward. Cash is used as another layer of protections for tipsters. There is no check deposit that can be tracked.
Of course a tip does not guarantee an arrest. Law enforcement still follows all necessary investigative procedures prior to making an arrest, but a simple tip may be the information needed to move an investigation forward.
If you have a tip, most crime related stories covered by the Suffolk News-Herald include the Crime Line information at the end, and of course any search engine will quickly return it for you as well.
If you have information that may help solve a crime call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Tips also can be submitted by visiting www.suffolkva.us/crimelinetips, by texting the word “CRIMES” (274637) with the keyword SPDVATIP or through the TipSoft mobile app. If information leads to an arrest, the tipster could qualify for a reward of up to $1,000. Callers do not have to give their names or appear in court.
John Carr is the publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald and a recent addition to the board of the Suffolk Crime Line. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.