Anyone who wants to offer authorities a tip on a crime, but wish to stay anonymous now has a new tool, texting.
Crime Stoppers of Topeka and Shawnee Co. announced the new service in which those with information on a felonious crime can send a text message. As always, those tips remain confidential.
The tips should be texted to "CRIMES" (274637). All messages need to be preceded by TIP218 to alert Crime Stoppers to direct the message to the Topeka and Shawnee Co. bureau. After submitting the tip, senders will receive a tip acknowledging the message, as well as a unique ID. Watch a demonstration
Officials hope that the option will allow them to reach more people, especially young people, who are more familiar with text messaging and able to provide information about criminal activity. Tipsters are still eligible for cash rewards up to $2,000.
To help ensure confidentiality, Crime Stoppers coordinator, Det. Terry Symonds, said the agency uses a service called "Tip Soft," which they describe as a leading information gathering program, to scramble the source of the text message.
"It's the same software that is used for taking anonymous information from the topekacrimestoppers.com website," Symonds said.