Released by Van Zandt County Crimestoppers
Expanding beyond the traditional anonymous telephone tip, Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers now makes it possible to submit anonymous tips online, from mobile devices or computers.
The revamped Crime Stoppers website, www.vanzandtcrimestoppers.org, now offers a special tip submission form that gives tipsters more choice in how they let Crime Stoppers know about wanted criminals. The new option is designed to be entirely anonymous, just as the telephone calls have always been.
To provide a tip, the user is asked to provide as much information as possible on the online form. Once the person presses the button to submit a tip, they are given a special code number. Later, once an arrest has been made and once Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers has approved a reward, the tipster will call the usual telephone number – 903-567-STOP (567-7867) to get the additional reward code information that allows them to pick up their cash reward at a local bank.
"We have been wanting to add this online tip submission feature for some time," said Andy Flowers, president of Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers. "Other Crime Stoppers groups in Texas that do online tips have reported good results, and we expect the same here in Van Zandt County."
Flowers credited a grant from the state Crime Stoppers organization for making it possible for the Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers to revise and improve the website. He emphasized that safeguards have been carefully built into the new website to assure that no one who submits a tip can ever be identified.
"This is why it is so important for anyone who provides a tip to be sure to keep the reward code number that the online system generates," Flowers said. "It will be impossible to collect on a reward without that."
Crime Stoppers’ cash rewards are designed to encourage anonymous tips that lead to the arrest of a criminal offender who has either just committed a crime or is wanted on a warrant. The Crime Stoppers number is 903-567-STOP (567-7867). Rewards of up to $1,000 are financed by criminal court fines and donations. More information about Crime Stoppers is available at www.vanzandtcrimestoppers.orgor on Facebook.