Is Turning in Criminals for the Reward Money a New Alternative Income Stream?

by RC on May 28, 2008

handcuffs.jpgAccording to a recent New York Times article, and perhaps fueled on by the slow economy the U.S. is now experiencing, local police departments and “crime stopper” groups are seeing an up-tick of people calling in to report crimes or the location of criminals in order to cash in with the reward money. Along with rising gas and food prices, the increase in calls to Crime Stopper hot lines is apparently an economic indicator of the tough times we are facing in this country now, with some of the tipsters saying the needed the money to pay for utility bills or food for their families. Apparently, some of them do pretty well, with rewards ranging from $50 to $1000, and many averaging about $400. Sometimes callers make several calls per week, with some of the tip hot line operators recognizing certain caller’s voices. Supposedly, a lot of the reward money used to go unclaimed, but now tipsters are getting frustrated if they cannot collect the money right away. Some groups are even paying early under certain circumstances. Turning in 2 or 3 suspects a week, and you could make $700+/week, or much better than minimum wage, according to the article.

Wow! I though I was doing pretty good selling things on Ebay, but these guys have me beat by a long shot. The disturbing thing, though, is that it took hard economic times in some of these areas to entice people to turn in wanted criminals. I think that is more disturbing to me than the actual state of the economy. Any thoughts?

Image by Marc Coggins

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Billy October 13, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Well i would like to add that all the while the majority of the public has been two sided on this issue. One being that they aren’t getting paid to do a cop or detectives job (or so previously thought). Two that they would never place themselves in a spot were they themselves or their family would be placed in harms way.

Be that as it may many have said as long as i can pay my bills and keep my family fed i will just have to look behind me. In either case i agree it is disturbing but it’s societies way of adapting to the change. I myself have a few people who have mailed me a bogus payment for a undisclosed item. Bad news for them i myself am going to cash in on reporting them. I would have been so willing early on in my life as well. But the reward(s) are just so much more of a reason to drop the dime on the criminals now.


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