On January 29th, 2003, Crime Stoppers of Santa Barbara County went on line and is the latest law enforcement tool in the County to report crime while remaining anonymous. Crime Stoppers offers a reward to individuals who provide information that leads to an arrest or the recovery of stolen property. Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September of 1976. Members of the local community in partnership with the media and law enforcement began an effort to provide crime-solving assistance to law enforcement.
Today, there are over 1000 Crime Stoppers programs in the United States, Canada , and other nations across the globe. Crime Stoppers has enjoyed great success boasting an average conviction rate of 95% on cases solved by Crime Stoppers’ tips. The Crime Stoppers programs worldwide have solved over half a million crimes and recovered over three billion dollars worth of stolen property and narcotics.
The brain child for Crime Stoppers of Santa Barbara County came from the County Law Enforcement Chief’s Association (C.L.E.C), and Chief Camerino Sanchez volunteered the Santa Barbara Police Department to take the lead role in coordinating the program. Sergeant Gary Wolfe was assigned to coordinate Crime Stoppers and the Citizen’s Council on Crime agreed to serve as the Board of Directors for the program. Reward amounts are determined by the Board of Directors and will range from $500 to $1,000 depending on the crime solved and the nature of the tip provided.
If you have information on a crime anywhere in the County, please call the toll free tip line at (877) 800-9100. The tip line is staffed by a dispatcher 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll free number serves all law enforcement agencies in the County. If you have questions about the program, feel free to contact Sergeant Riley Harwood at the Police Department. He can be reached at 897-2320.