How It Works
- Clickto submit a web tip online. This is the easiest way to submit and follow up on your information, and to arrange your cash reward.
Or Call 1-800-222-TIPS where you will be connected to a trained representative who will assist you.
Or Text “USVI” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).
- We do not ask you to identify yourself. You will be given a private PIN number that you can use to identify yourself when you contact us again for an update.
- Contact us later with your private PIN number to learn the status of your tip. If your tip leads to an arrest, the recovery of stolen property, or illegal drugs or weapons, then you will be eligible for a reward. Together we will agree on a location that is both secure and anonymous for Crime Stoppers to deliver your cash reward.
Your anonymity is key to the success of the Crime Stoppers program. Because of this, we have technology in place which makes it impossible for us, law enforcement, an attorney, or anybody to trace your call, text message, or web tip back to you.
It works as follows: When you call our 800-222-TIPS (8477) number, the call goes to a private company in Virginia who jumps your call to one of their lines and then forwards your call to our answering service in Texas. Even if one of our Texas operators had caller ID, which they do not, the only number they would see is from Virginia, not your number. Therefore, if someone were able to get the telephone records of our answering service, the number shown would be from the company in Virginia. When the Virginia company jumps your call, they transfer it internally so that the call information is not available to the telephone company. The Virginia company then purges their internal records at the end of each month, so even if someone was able to get a court order to review those records (and we do not think any court would do so), by the time the order was issued, there would not be any records that could be traced.
Web and Text Tips are handled in a similar fashion, but the messages are sent to computers in Canada where it is legal to jump your message to another computer before forwarding it on to us, with the goal being to make it impossible for anyone to trace a message back to your computer or your cell phone. Uploaded documents, pictures, and video’s are just as secure.
All of this routing technology costs extra, but as previously stated, your anonymity is key to the success of this program.
We first review each tip and remove any information which could help to identify you. For example, we might remove “My neighbor” or “My boss” from your tip.
Most tips are then sent to a VIPD Law Enforcement Coordinator on St. Croix or St. Thomas. The VIPD coordinator determines which law enforcement agency should pursue the information, and each agency has one contact person who monitors and reports back on your tip.
In the special case of corruption tips and some high profile tips, Crime Stoppers USVI sends your tip directly to the FBI, who then brings your information to the Anti Corruption Task Force, which has top investigators from FBI, DEA, US Marshalls, HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program), Customs and Immigration, and the US Attorney’s office. These agents meet and decide who is going to investigate your information.
Crime Stoppers USVI reviews all open tips with the assigned agency or detective at least once per quarter, and we do not clear or close any tip until we receive the results of each investigation.
The amount of the reward depends on the seriousness of the crime. If your information leads to an arrest, illegal drugs or guns seized, or stolen property recovered, your tip can earn you a reward of up to $2500, paid in cash by Crime Stoppers USVI. And throughout the totally anonymous process, no one, not even the volunteers at Crime Stoppers, will know your identity. Unclaimed rewards expire six months after the award date.
The answer, quite simply, is YES. But the success of a Crime Stoppers program is more than just in the statistics. Other benefits enjoyed by communities with successful Crime Stoppers include:
- A greater awareness in the community that there is a crime problem.
- A willingness within the community to fight back against crime.
- Improved relationships between the community, media and police.
- The cooperative effort becomes a significant deterrent to crime.
Crime Stoppers USVI is definitely here to stay. This anonymous tips program, managed completely by citizen volunteers, has been enthusiastically welcomed and supported by Governor deJongh as well as by our Police Commissioner and the Police Chiefs.