A HISTORY OF HELPING
Crime Stoppers began more than 40 years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when community members, in partnership with the media and law enforcement, began providing crime-solving assistance to local law enforcement. Cash rewards were (and still are) offered to people who anonymously called the Crime Stoppers Tip line with information which led to the arrest and charges filed of the person(s) responsible for felony offenses.
Crime Stoppers programs worldwide have solved over a half a million crimes and recovered over 3 billion dollars worth of stolen property and narcotics. Today there are over 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs across the United States and around the world.
Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho (formerly Boise Area Crime Stoppers), founded in 1981, is administered by an all-volunteer board of directors. Financial support is provided through fundraisers and community donations.
For general questions about Crime Stoppers contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (DO NOT USE THIS EMAIL TO SUBMIT A TIP: it is NOT anonymous). To submit an anonymous tip, click the “Submit a Tip” button.
The mission of the Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho Program is to assist law enforcement in the identification of criminal suspects, and the apprehension of known felons who have evaded arrest for their crimes.
A young college student, Michael Carmen, was shot to death during a robbery at an Albuquerque gas station in July 1976, Detective Greg MacAleese had no idea who was responsible for the killing.
No witnesses came forward and it appeared the senseless and brutal shotgun slaying would remain a mystery.
MacAleese, who worked for a newspaper before joining the Albuquerque Police Department, knew something innovative would be necessary to encourage the public to get involved and help solve the murder.
He conceived the idea of producing a video reenactment of the homicide, guaranteed anonymity for anyone who was willing to call him with information, and put up a reward from his own pocket to encourage someone to provide a lead that would help identify those responsible for the murder of Carmen.
Carmen was only two weeks away from getting married and had taken an extra shift at the gas station to give a co-worker the night off. When police responded to an emergency call, they found Carmen gravely wounded. He'd been shot in the abdomen at point blank range with a 12-gauge shotgun.
The medical staff kept him alive for four hours and during that time he tried to tell detectives who was responsible, but he just didn't have the strength to form the words.
At that time, Albuquerque had one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country, which made people afraid to help the police.
MacAleese's plan to identify those responsible for killing Carmen worked. Within a few hours after the recreation of the murder was broadcast on television station KOAT, he received a phone call. The video image had triggered the memory of a person who heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas bar, and then saw a car driving off. The caller told MacAleese the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.
Through investigation, MacAleese and a team of detectives arrested two men within 72 hours and charged them with the murder and a string of armed robberies.
MacAleese received other calls following the reenactment, including one that allowed police to solve the rape of a young woman. Realizing that this type of program might be useful in fighting crime, MacAleese convinced the Albuquerque Police Department to allow a group of citizens to establish the first Crime Stoppers program.
For his efforts, Detective MacAleese was named one of the people in the 1970's who changed the face of the United States and was named the country's Police Officer of the Year. It's also interesting to note that since adopting Crime Stoppers, Albuquerque's crime rate has dropped significantly and no longer is ranked in the list of 20 cities with the highest per capita crime rate.