Aug 2, 2012 at 8:45 am
ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - Tri-County Crime Stoppers is an organization that attempts to solve crimes that occur in Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties--and now they're making it easier for the public to submit valuable tips that could be helpful in taking some cases off the books.
A new service called TipSoft lefts you send anonymous tips...via text from your iPhone or Android model phone.
"People can still call crime stoppers and stay anonymous. They can go submit a tip through the Tip Soft software," Tri-County Crime Stoppers president Alicia Mages said. "But they can also now text it in, and all they have to do is type in the phone number."
The number to remember, 2-7-4-6-3-7.
"It spells out CRIMES and then they just have to put in TRITIP a space and then whatever the tip information is," Mages said. "So TRITIP is the keyword they would send to the six digit number."
Since technology has pervaded every aspect of society it seems and access to a cell phone is now commonplace for many, Mages said texting is just the next easy-to-access step in getting crime information into police hands.
"This is an avenue that they can use to take care of that information and just get it out there right now, while they're thinking of it instead of having to look up the phone number or getting to a computer," Mages said.
And if cops need clarification or more information they will have the ability to communicate back and forth with tipsters through texting, while remaining completely anonymous.
"When Crime Stoppers gets the text, just like through all other avenues...it doesn't come up with a phone number or an email address, it comes up with a unique ID," Mages said. "That is the only thing that Crime Stoppers sees...that unique ID."
The new system, rolled out yesterday, officially adds Stearns, Sherburne and Benton Counties to the list of those already taking advantage of the TipSoft technology.
"The technology has been out there for a while," Mages said. "We finally got on board with it and decided with the technology going in the direction it is and more people using phones and taking videos and pictures of things they see and having that instant reaction to something, we wanted to take advantage of the text tips."
Crime Stoppers and Mages have noted the rise in burglaries in the area as another reason to get more people involved in the effort to stop criminals before someone in the community is injured. Texting, Mages hopes, will leave people with very little excuse to not get involved when they see something happen.
"I hope that if people have information they see this as an easier way for them to anonymously report it and they'll use that ability and that new text tip and turn em in," Mages said.
The process again, if you see something you want to report, text keyword 'TRITIP' to 274637, which spells out CRIMES on your mobile keypad.