ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) - St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers has begun tapping into the latest technology to exponentially increase the number of eyes and ears out on the street.
“Who doesn’t have a cellphone now?,” says CrimeStoppers executive director Lisa Pisciotta.
She points out that smartphones have the ability to take photos, even video, of criminal activity as it happens.
Now there’s a way to get involved without having to “get involved” — by giving your name that is.
“If you’re standing in Schnucks and there’s some guy robbing the bank and you’re texting, just type ‘Hey, the bank’s being robbed and the guy looks like this’,” explains Pisciotta. “Or you’re out in the parking lot and you see him get in a car, what’s his license plate number?”
This information can then be submitted anonymously by entering keyword “STL”, typing in a short but informative summary, and sending that to “CRIMES” (274637).
You even receive a confirmation text that your message was received, as well as a “tipster alias”.
“A lot of tips that we get don’t contain all of the information we need, so we have to ask additional questions,” according to Pisciotta. “The tipster alias is like a password so you can (anonymously) text back and forth.”
Of course, you can still submit tips simply by calling (866) 371-TIPS toll-free.
That’s (866) 371-8477.
There’s even a free smartphone app that you can download — TIP SUBMIT — from the Google Play or iTunes store.
Pisciotta says however people choose to submit crime information to police, it’s working.
They’ve already taken in nearly 250 tips since January 1st.
That’s helped local police make three arrests since the first of the year, increasing their all-time total to 385.