According 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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