Crime Stoppers’ Annual Paper Shredding and Prescription Drug Drop Off Event is April 24
April 09, 2021

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with Triad Shredding of Rantoul are offering community members another one-stop opportunity to securely shred old personal documents, safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs, and responsibly recycle old cell phones. In compliance with public health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, all three services will be conducted with “no contact” between the public and the event organizers.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2021 - 9 TO 11 A.M.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LOT E14 AT THE CORNER OF FIRST AND KIRBY IN CHAMPAIGN - across from the State Farm Center

DRIVERS ENTER FROM FIRST ST. AND WILL BE DIRECTED TO THE DROP-OFF AREA

 

In order to maintain the public health “no contact” standards, the following safety procedures will be in place:

  • All participants and event workers must wear face masks.
  • All participants must remain in their cars and in the traffic line to await further instructions from event workers
  • Participants will be asked to get out of their vehicles to place boxes of documents for shredding at a designated place, so boxes need to be light enough for participants to lift.   
  • Participants can also leave prescription drugs and cellphones at that same place.

Crime Stoppers is asking for a small donation of $10 to help pay future rewards to tipsters who help solve crimes. Up to two bankers' boxes of private documents will be accepted, which includes old income tax records, bank statements, pay stubs, medical records, cancelled checks, legal documents, utility bills, etc. Please note that shredding is not done at the collection site. Documents will be taken to Triad Shredding’s secure facility for shredding.

At the same event, the DEA is offering an easy way to prevent pill abuse and theft through the National Drug Drop Off Day. People can bring their pills and patches to be incinerated at an off-site location.  We cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps at this event. The prescription drug drop-off service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

Triad Shredding will also offer to shred old, unwanted cellphones for proper recycling.    

 

For more information about this event visit our website at 373tips.com.



Champaign County Crime Stoppers’ Successful Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program Continuing
April 08, 2021

Champaign County Crime Stoppers has announced it will continue to partner with the community to try to stop the senseless acts of gun violence that have increased across Champaign County. Originally launched as a pilot program in 2019, Crime Stoppers’ Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program has been successful in taking 32 firearms off our neighborhood streets and led to the arrest of 26 people involved in gun-related, felony crimes. Because of the success of the program, and funding support from the Champaign County Community Coalition and the City of Champaign, Crime Stoppers will continue to utilize the program and encourages members of the public to step forward and share anonymous information about gun-related crimes in Champaign County. Through the Illegal Gun Bounty Program, a person providing an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers that leads to the arrest of an individual who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County will be awarded our organization’s maximum $1,000 cash reward payout.

Our organization realizes that as summer approaches and pandemic restrictions are rolled back, more people will be getting together and involved in group activities. In recent years, the warmer weather has also resulted in a sharp increase in gun-related crime, leaving many victims with injuries or fatal wounds. We realize that gun related crimes can result in witnesses who are afraid to tell law enforcement what they know. Through the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program, and Crime Stoppers’ guarantee of anonymity, we hope more people will step forward and share information that can be used to hold individuals responsible for their criminal actions.

Since the Illegal Gun Bounty was introduced in 2019, anonymous tips from the public have led to the removal of 32 guns from Champaign County’s streets. Here are some program highlights from program inception through March 30, 2021:
  • 26 individuals arrested
  • 32 firearms recovered, including:
    24 handguns (one stolen and one with a defaced serial number)
    5 rifles (including three semi-automatic, one of which was stolen, another was a short-barrel with a defaced serial number)
    3 shotguns (including one sawed-off shotgun)
  • $3,000 cash recovered
  • 24 rewards approved for a total of $24,000 in cash payouts
“One of my major concerns is someone losing their life to a stray bullet, simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Champaign Detective James Hobson, a member of the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force. “Bullets do not discriminate. Sometimes they hit who they are intended for, but often cases, a person. Often times when striking residences, they penetrate several walls before coming to a stop.”

Board President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers, John Hecker, stressed that the Illegal Gun Bounty Program continues the mission of the organization by providing an easy way for individuals to anonymously convey information to solve crimes and be eligible for a reward. “At a time when gun-related crimes are rapidly increasing locally, Champaign County Crime Stoppers is wholeheartedly committed to the continuance of the successful Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program. Such an effort is solely aimed at enhancing the safety for all citizens of our community.”

Detective Hobson has been a member of the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force for only a few months, but reports, “In that short amount of time, I have already seen how valuable this program is through the information it generates.”

As always, tips must come directly to Crime Stoppers in order to qualify for a reward. Tipsters will remain completely anonymous and can submit tips by phone (217-373-TIPS), on our website (373tips.com), or through our free “P3 Tips” mobile app.


Crime Stoppers Solicits Applications for its Annual Scholarship Program
March 30, 2021

Champaign County Crime Stoppers is accepting applications for its annual $500 Youth Scholarship Award.  Applications are available to any high school senior within Champaign County who will be furthering their education and entering the field of Criminal Justice.

 

“The local Board of Directors overwhelmingly agreed to go ahead with the award this year, although Covid-19 has disrupted so many of the school routine and procedures,” said Barbara Payne, Crime Stoppers Scholarship Committee Chair.  “We rely heavily on the school officials and counselors to get information to students who have an interest in a criminal justice career.”

 

The application requires an essay on why the applicant wants to pursue a career in criminal justice.  Community service and school activities also weigh heavily on the application.  Two reference letters are required to attest to the applicant’s character.  Once received, the Champaign County Crime Stoppers Youth Scholarship Committee will select the successful recipient from those completed and submitted applications.  Applications must be received by May 20, 2021. Once the decision is made, the successful candidate and their high school will be notified by June 1, 2021.

 

“It is important that we continue to offer this award to a deserving individual, despite the COVID-19 limitations,” said Kris Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick who is a member of the Scholarship Committee and donor for the program is a 34-year veteran of law enforcement.

 

For more information on the Youth Scholarship and to download the application click HERE.



Crime Stoppers Announces Annual Shred Event and Drug Drop Off Event
October 13, 2020

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will once again offer a one-stop opportunity for residents to drop off personal documents for shredding and to safely dispose of old prescription drugs. Also this year, Crime Stoppers and the group’s longtime partner in sponsoring the event, Triad Shredding of Rantoul, are offering a place where residents can recycle old cellphones. In compliance with public health requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic, all three services will be conducted with “no contact” between the public and the event sponsors. Masks will be required for everyone.

The Shred Event will be held on Saturday, October 24th, 2020, from 9 a.m. to noon, on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, in Lot E14 at the corner of First and Kirby, across from the State Farm Center. Drivers will enter from First Street and will be directed to the drop-off area. In order to maintain the public health “no contact” standards, the following procedures will be in place:
 
  • All participants must remain in their cars and in the traffic line to await further instructions from event workers.
  • Participants will be asked to get out of their vehicles to place boxes of documents for shredding at a designated place, so boxes need to be light enough for participants to lift. Documents will be shredded off-site.
  • Participants can also leave prescription drugs and cellphones at that same spot.
  • A box for cash donations to Crime Stoppers, to help pay future rewards to tipsters who help solve crimes, will also be located at this spot. Crime Stoppers is asking for a small donation of $10. 
Shredding old personal documents is one of the best ways people can protect themselves from identity theft.Up to two banker’s boxes containing the following documents will be accepted: medical records, financial statements, credit applications, bank statements, documents with social security numbers or driver license numbers, bank checks, tax records, and legal documents over 8 years old.

At the same time, the DEA is offering an easy way to prevent pill abuse and theft through the National Drug Drop Off Day. People can bring their pills and patches, but the DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Triad Shredding will shred the old cellphones after removing the batteries. The shredded phone and the batteries will then be recycled with like materials. 

More information about the Shred Event, Prescription Drug Take Back, and cellphone recycling is available at 373tips.com.


Crime Stoppers and Champaign County Sheriff's Office Place Kiosk at Courthouse
October 05, 2020

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County and the Champaign County Sheriff’s
Office are working together to boost their crime-fighting efforts by placing a high technology information kiosk at the Courthouse in Urbana. The Community Pro-Tektor Kiosk was placed in a highly visible location on the first floor, on September 30th, between the Circuit Clerk’s window and Courtroom L.

The kiosk will display rotating information on how to submit a tip to Crime Stoppers, wanted subjects, Crime of the Week, public safety information, weather updates and announcements. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office will be able to post information as well. The kiosk will also convey the urgency of Amber Alerts by becoming totally activated with only information pertinent to the Alert.

“The Sheriff's Office has a long history of working with both the community and with Champaign County Crime Stoppers to help solve crimes, and even prevent future crimes, through information gathering,” Sheriff Dustin Heuerman said. “With a large number of the public visiting the Champaign County Courthouse every day, this seems like a great opportunity to increase information-sharing with the public. This new kiosk helps us to do that!”

This is the second Crime Stoppers kiosk to be located in the community by the group. In cooperation with Parkland College, a similar kiosk was placed on the Champaign campus late last year. The funding for both installations was made possible by a grant from the Champaign Rotary Club.

“Crime Stoppers is extremely pleased to announce the installation of a kiosk at the Champaign County Courthouse,” said John Hecker, President of the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. “We firmly believe that these kiosks will further our efforts to reduce the amount of crime and the number of unsolved crimes in Champaign County.”
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Community Coalition and Champaign Partner with Crime Stoppers to Solve and Prevent Local Gun Crime
December 19, 2019

The Champaign County Community Coalition and the City of Champaign will contribute up to $30,000 to Champaign County Crime Stoppers to support the nonprofit’s Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program.  Through this program Champaign County Crime Stoppers pays their maximum $1,000 cash reward for anonymous tips that lead to the arrest of an individual using a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County.  

The Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program has been very successful since it launched in January 2019.  During the program’s first 11 months, Champaign County Crime Stoppers paid out $12,000 in rewards for anonymous tips which resulted in 13 arrests and the recovery of 23 firearms (16 handguns, 4 rifles, and 3 shotguns), including weapons that had defaced serial numbers, had been illegally modified, or were reported stolen.

“The Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program has resulted in a significant increase in the number of anonymous tips Crime Stoppers receives from the public about crimes involving firearms,” reports John Hecker, President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “Our organization is proud to play a role in helping to address the community’s gun crime problem.  Crime Stoppers is grateful to the Champaign County Community Coalition and the City of Champaign for supporting our efforts to fight crime in Champaign County.”
 
Tracy Parsons, facilitator of the Champaign County Community Coalition adds, “After seeing the community’s response to the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program we are pleased to see community members partnering with us.  We refuse to normalize gun violence.  The Champaign County Community Coalition continues to actively engage in several different programs and initiatives with community members to combat gun violence.  We’re encouraged to see the impact that Crime Stoppers is having in this area and are happy to partner with them so this successful program can continue.”
 
The Champaign County Community Coalition’s Executive Committee partners include: City of Champaign, City of Urbana, Champaign County, Champaign County Mental Health Board, Champaign Police Department, Urbana Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Champaign County State’s Attorney, University of Illinois Police Department, Champaign Park District, Urbana Park District, Champaign School District, Urbana School District, University of Illinois, Parkland College, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Regional Planning Commission, Housing Authority of Champaign County, and United Way of Champaign County.
 
In September 2019, Crime Stoppers USA recognized Champaign County Crime Stoppers’ Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program with the Community Initiative of the Year Award (population under 250,000). All tips provided to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous and cash rewards are paid for information that leads to an arrest.  Tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by phone (217-373-TIPS), online (373tips.com), or through the “P3 Tips” mobile app.  Champaign County Crime Stoppers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and public donations to support the organization can be made online at 373tips.com


Crime Stoppers Places New Community Alert Kiosk at Parkland College
November 08, 2019

Champaign County Crime Stoppers is venturing into kiosk technology in its ongoing efforts to help residents make local neighborhoods safer. Working in conjunction with Parkland College, the organization on Tuesday placed a Community Pro-Tektor kiosk at the community college campus in Champaign, in the X wing near the library stairs.
 
The kiosk’s display will rotate information on wanted subjects, unsolved crimes, and crime prevention tips, explained Dawn Coyne Trimble, vice president of the local Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. Other information will include Parkland College messages and weather updates. This kiosk also functions to convey
the urgency of Amber Alerts and will activate fully with only information pertinent to an alert.

“After seeing the kiosk at national conferences, we saw the opportunity to help spread the word about Crime Stoppers further here in Champaign County,” Trimble said. “This is an innovative way to provide information to the community, and we plan to work on a network of the kiosks here in the area.”
 
Purchase of the kiosk was made possible by a grant from the Champaign Rotary Club.

Parkland College Chief of Police William Colbrook discussed the selection of Parkland College to house the Crime Stoppers notification stand.
“We’re proud to be the first partner to host one of these kiosks,” Colbrook said. “We’re a high traffic location in the community that serves individuals from every walk of life. It fits with our community engagement mission and enhances campus safety.”


Board President Receives National Award
September 24, 2019

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County is extremely proud to announce Board President John Hecker has been named as the recipient of the Freddi Moody Memorial P3 Board Member of the Year Award during the Crime Stoppers USA Annual Training Conference held in Tempe, Arizona.  Anderson Software, which provides products to Crime Stoppers programs to receive anonymous tips, announced Hecker as this year’s recipient Sunday evening. 

 

Hecker was nominated by Vice President of the local Crime Stoppers Board, Dawn Coyne Trimble; and by past police coordinator for the local board, Troy Daniels, who retired from the Champaign Police Department. Both Trimble and Daniels sit on the Crime Stoppers USA board.

 

Hecker was the founding President of Crime Stoppers of Champaign County 33 years ago on March 7, 1986, and continues to serve in that position currently.  In their nomination letter, Coyne and Daniels said Hecker is believed to be the longest serving board president of a local organization in the Crime Stoppers family worldwide. 

 

They also described Hecker as a relentless supporter of the program who has embraced the latest advances in technology as ways to make it easier for citizens to provide information about crimes anonymously.  “An example of this would be John’s unwavering support of implementing Anderson Software products that receive tips, such as Tipsoft and P3,” they said.  They also pointed out Hecker’s support of the successful local Gun Bounty program, aimed at reducing gun violence in the community. The program guarantees a $1,000 reward for tips that lead to a felony gun arrest.   (nomination letter attached)  

 

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County has used the Anderson Software product “P3 Tips mobile app” for several years to provide a free method for cellphone users to submit information anonymously.  In addition to text information, the app allows images, video and documents to be uploaded with the tip.  

 

In addition to the free P3 Tips mobile app , Crime Stoppers of Champaign County also accepts  tips at our Tips Line 373-TIPS, and at our website www.373tips.com.  No matter how information is submitted to Crime Stoppers, the tipster always remains anonymous. 



Announcing Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year and Youth Scholarship Winners
July 11, 2019

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County today announced the winner of the Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award at the organization’s Annual Meeting held at The Elks Lodge in Savoy. Also, the recipient of the Crime Stoppers Youth Scholarship Scholarship was announced.

The winner of this year’s Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award is the West Urbana Neighborhood Association (WUNA). In nominating the group, WUNA member Kay Grabow said, “I believe that those of us who live in West Urbana are safer because of the feeling of community created by the West Urbana Neighborhood Association, and especially by the connection through the WUNA List Serve.”

She also said, “By keeping neighbors connected and interested in each other, the List Serve provides many sets of eyes and ears that help law enforcement agencies.” She provided examples that include alerting residents about someone who may be stealing packages from front porches. Also, watching for missing pets which makes the job of animal control easier.

“Knowing our neighbors at some level and caring for their well-being are great positive ways to fight crime. The West Urbana Neighborhood Association serves us well,” Grabow concluded.

Grabow, steering committee member Trent Shepard, and Co-Treasurer Anne H. Silvis attended the Crime Stoppers Annual Meeting to accept the Dave Benton Award, which is sponsored by Barb and Tom Frasca.

The winner of the annual $500 Crime Stoppers Youth Scholarship is Tolono Unity High School graduate Abigail Charleston, who will attend Parkland College in Champaign to study Criminal Justice.



33rd Annual Meeting - Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award Presentation - Youth Scholarship Presentation
July 03, 2019

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County will announce the winner of the Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award at its Annual Meeting to be held on Thursday, July 11. The award is given to a citizen of Champaign County who most exemplifies the crimefighting spirit that Dave displayed during his award-winning newscasts and programs on WCIA-TV, and as a Crime Stoppers board member. Dave lost his battle against cancer in May 2015. Also during the Annual Meeting, the winner of the Champaign County Crime Stoppers Youth Scholarship will be announced.

Members of area law enforcement agencies are among the invited guests. The guest speaker is Circuit Court Judge Jason Bohm.

The Annual Meeting will be held from 12 to 1 p.m., July 11, 2019, at The Elks Lodge, 903 North Dunlap, in Savoy. The winner of the Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award, the person who nominated the recipient, and the President of the Crime Stoppers Board ,John Hecker, will all be available to the media following the meeting.



Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award Deadline Extension
May 30, 2019

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County has extended the deadline from June 1 to June 15 for the submission of nominations for the Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award. The award was established in 2015 to honor former board member and WCIA-TV anchor Dave Benton. The intent is to recognize a Champaign County citizen who most exemplifies the crime-fighting spirit that Dave Benton showed during his award-winning newscasts, programs, and during his tenure as a member of the Crime Stopper’s Board. He lost his battle against cancer in May of 2015.
 
Nominations are open to all residents of Champaign County. A nominee should be an individual who has made a difference in the fight against crime. This person must have been involved in an on-going activity or program that helped to stop a crime, solve a case, or made a big difference in resolving a dangerous situation that made their neighborhood, community or Champaign County safer.
The Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award will be presented during the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on July 11, 2019. Nomination forms can be found on the Crime Stoppers website at www.373tips.com. Printed forms are also available at the front desks of area police departments, and at the Sheriff's Office.
 
The winner will also receive a monetary award of $500. For further information, contact the President of the Board of Directors, Crime Stoppers of Champaign County, John Hecker at 356-8391.
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Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award
May 20, 2019

The deadline is approaching to nominate someone for the Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award. The Board of Directors established this annual award in 2015 in honor of former board member and WCIA-TV anchor Dave Benton. The intent is to recognize a Champaign County citizen who most exemplifies the crime-fighting spirit that Dave Benton showed during his award-winning newscasts, programs, and during his tenure as a member of the Crime Stopper’s Board of Directors. He lost his battle against cancer in May of 2015.
 
Nominations are open to all residents of Champaign County. A nominee should be an individual who has made a difference in the fight against crime. This person must have been involved in an on-going activity or program that helped to stop a crime, solve a case, or made a big difference in resolving a dangerous situation that made their neighborhood, community or Champaign County safer.
 
The Fifth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award will be presented during the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on July 11, 2019. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1st. Nomination forms can be found on the Crime Stoppers website at www.373tips.com. Printed forms are also available at the front desks of area police departments, and at the Sheriff's Office.
 
The winner will also receive a monetary award of $500.
 
For further information, contact the President of the Board of Directors, Crime Stoppers of Champaign County, John Hecker at 356-8391.
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Shred Event and Drug Drop-Off Scheduled May 18, 2019
May 06, 2019

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are once again joining together to provide a one-stop opportunity for residents to protect themselves from identity theft and to safely dispose of old prescription drugs.

 

Crime Stoppers is sponsoring a Shred Event along with the DEA’s free Drug Drop-Off on Saturday May 18, 2019, from 9-11a.m. on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. The events will be held in Lot E14 at the corner of First and Kirby, across from the State Farm Center.

 

Shredding old personal documents is one of the best ways for people to protect themselves from identity theft. Crime Stoppers is working with Triad Shredding to provide off-site shredding of up to two banker’s boxes of documents. Crime Stoppers is also asking for a small donation of $5 to help pay future rewards to tipsters who help solve crimes.

 

The following documents will be accepted: medical records, financial statements, credit applications, bank  statements, documents with social security numbers or driver license numbers, bank checks, tax records, and legal documents over 8 years old.

 

At the same time, the DEA is offering an easy way to prevent pill abuse and theft through the Drug Drop Off.  Residents can rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. People can bring their pills and patches, but the DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to abuse. In addition, usual methods for disposing of unused medicines such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards. More information about the Shred Event and Prescription Drug Take Back is available at 373tips.com.



Crime Stoppers Extends Successful Gun Bounty Rewards
April 29, 2019

Ten handguns, 2 shotguns, and a semi-automatic rifle are among the weapons removed from our neighborhood streets as a result of tips to Champaign County Crime Stoppers during a 3 ½ - month trial period for its new Gun Bounty Reward Program. The seizure of firearms through the pilot program, that ran from January 10 to April 26 this year, shows a 467 percent increase in recovered guns over the same period in 2018. Through this initiative, anyone who contacts Crime Stoppers with a tip that leads to the arrest of person who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County will receive our maximum $1,000 cash reward pay outs. During the trial period, Crime Stoppers approved five payouts to tipsters of $1,000 each for a total of $5,000. As a result of the success of the initiative, the Crime Stoppers Board voted unanimously at its monthly meeting on April 25, 2019, to continue the Gun Bounty Reward Program as long as financial resources are available to pay the maximum rewards.

The anonymous tips from the public regarding gun-related crimes has led to the arrest of 6 individuals on charges that include felony gun crimes. In addition to the recovery of a total of 14 firearms, officers seized drugs and cash. Here is a breakdown: (see attached photo of police seizure related to a Crime Stoppers tip through Gun Bounty Reward Program).

  • • Ten handguns (including one stolen handgun)
  • • Two rifles (including one semi-automatic and one stolen rifle)
  • • Two shotguns
  • • More than 5,000 grams of cannabis with street value of $50,000
  • • More than $3,000 cash

A comparison of tips and recovered weapons between January 10 and April 26 for the years 2018 and 2019 also shows the program is making a difference: (stats are based on Crime Stoppers Mobile App P3 Tips analysis)

  • • 27% increase in drug-related tips
  • • 143 % increase in weapons-related tips
  • • 6% increase in overall tips
  • • 467% increase in weapons seized

The success of the Gun Bounty Reward program has increased our need for financial assistance from the community we serve. As a result, the Champaign County Crime Stoppers Board is appealing to local businesses and members of the public for financial support. Crime Stoppers has no paid staff and relies totally upon the support of our community for reward money and operating expenses. Members of the public are asked to support Crime Stoppers with a tax-deductible donation which can easily be made via our website at 373tips.com. Also, in order to make giving simple for donors, Champaign County

Crime Stoppers has set up a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/gun-bounty-reward.

As always, tips must come directly to Crime Stoppers in order to qualify for a reward. Tipsters will remain completely anonymous and can submit tips by phone (217-373-TIPS), our website (373tips.com), or through our free "P3 Tips" mobile app.



Crime Stoppers Sees Success With Gun Bounty Reward Program
April 04, 2019

To help combat a marked increase in gun-related crime in our community, Champaign County Crime Stoppers announced a 3-month pilot program called the Gun Bounty Reward on January 10, 2019.  Through this initiative, anyone who contacts Crime Stoppers with a tip that leads to the arrest of person who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County will receive our maximum $1,000 cash reward pay out.  Now halfway through the pilot program, Crime Stoppers is pleased to announce the successful outcomes that have resulted from the Gun Bounty Reward.

 
Over the last seven weeks, Crime Stoppers has received multiple anonymous tips from the public regarding gun-related crimes.  Three of these tips led to the arrest of 4 individuals who have been charged with felony gun crimes, as well as the recovery of ten firearms, drugs, and cash.  Three tips qualified for the Gun Bounty Reward, and as promised, Crime Stoppers paid out three $1,000 rewards ($3,000 total) to the individuals who anonymously provided the information that led to these arrests.  The Crime Stoppers tips also helped local law enforcement recover:
  • Seven handguns (including one stolen handgun)
  • Two rifles (including one stolen rifle)
  • One shotgun
  • More than 2,000 grams of cannabis
  • More than $2,000 cash
In order to maintain this type of success, and to continue the Gun Bounty Reward program past the three-month pilot program, Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs the financial support of local businesses and members of the public. Crime Stoppers has no paid staff and relies upon the support of our community for reward money and operating expenses. The success of the Gun Bounty Reward program has increased our need for financial assistance from the community we serve.  Members of the public are asked to support Crime Stoppers with a tax-deductible donation which can easily be made via our website - 373tips.com.
 
As always, tips must come directly to Crime Stoppers in order to qualify for a reward.  Tipsters will remain completely anonymous and can submit tips by phone (217-373-TIPS), our website (373tips.com), or through our free “P3 Tips” mobile app.

 



Announcing New $1,000 Gun Bounty Reward
January 10, 2019

More than 100 times in 2018, police in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, and Champaign County responded to reports of "shots fired."  Nine people died as a result of their injuries in 2018; seven in Champaign and two in Urbana. In total, 2018 Champaign County crime statistics show there were 125 substantiated shooting incidents based on police verification that a gun was fired through shell-casings, property damage, injuries, or even death.

To help combat a marked increase in gun-related crime in our community, Champaign County Crime Stoppers is launching a 3-month pilot initiative called the Gun Bounty RewardAnyone who contacts Crime Stoppers with a tip that leads to the arrest of person who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County will receive our maximum reward pay out - $1,000. 
 
In other words, Felony Gun Crime + Arrest = $1,000 Reward.

As law enforcement and community leaders rally together to find new ways to stop the
escalation of gun violence, the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers of Champaign County is proud to step up and join in their efforts. Through the Gun Bounty Reward, Crime Stoppers is providing an anonymous way for the public to submit information about felony gun-related crimes, with the added incentive of this enhanced reward of $1,000 to come forward to help
police solve crimes and make arrests.

As always, tips must come directly to Crime Stoppers in order to qualify for a reward. Tipsters will remain completely anonymous when submitting a tip to Crime Stoppers by phone at 217-373-TIPS (8477), via our website at 373tips.com, or through our free P3 Tips mobile app.

In 2018, Crime Stoppers of Champaign County received more than 1,200 tips which led to the arrest of 51 people, the payout of nearly $6,000 in rewards, and the recovery of more than $19,000 of drugs, cash, and stolen property. Since our program was founded in 1986, Crime Stoppers has processed nearly 21,000 anonymous tips, recovered more than $1.5 million dollars of drugs, cash, and stolen property, and paid out more than $126,000 in cash rewards. Crime Stoppers works!

Crime Stoppers is committed to making Champaign County safer by providing an easy way for tipsters to convey information anonymously and to receive cash rewards for information that leads to an arrest. Crime Stoppers has no paid staff and relies upon the support of the community for operating expenses and reward money. This enhanced reward opportunity increases the need for our organization to seek public donations in order to continue the success of our program. Businesses and members of the public are encouraged to consider making a donation though the link on our website at  373tips.com.
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Announcing: Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award of the Year and Crime Stoppers Scholarship Recipient
July 19, 2018

Crimes Stoppers of Champaign County today announced the winner of the Fourth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award at the organization’s Annual Meeting held at the Elks Lodge in Savoy. Also, the recipient of the Crime Stoppers Criminal Justice Scholarship was announced.

The winner of this year’s Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award is Bryan Yacko, in his role as an Assistant Principal of Champaign Central High School. He was nominated by Sgt. Brandon Thomas on behalf of the Champaign Police Department. Sgt. Thomas called Bryan Yacko’s actions at the time of a shooting near Central High School “nothing short of HEROIC”.  On December 12, 2017, several shots were fired from off the property in the direction of the school as people were leaving a basketball game. Three people were hurt by the gunfire. Sgt. Thomas said, “Mr. Yacko began shouting instructions while physically and verbally directing those potential victims back to the relative safety of the school building and out of the line of fire.” “Mr. Yacko displayed selfless service in the face of extreme danger,” continued Sgt. Thomas. “I have no doubt that Mr. Yacko’s actions saved lives and spared many potential victims from harm. I am awestruck by his bravery.”

The winner of the Annual Crime Stoppers Criminal Justice Scholarship is Breahna Ramirez. She was graduated from Centennial High School in Champaign and plans to use the $2,000 scholarship toward her education at Parkland College. She hopes to pursue a career in Corrrections Institutions. The underlining purpose of this scholarship program is to promote criminal justice as a career and to financially assist a graduating senior in pursuit of an education in that field. This year's scholarship was made possible, in part, by Doug Mills.



Accepting Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award Nominations
May 22, 2018

The deadline is approaching to nominate someone for the fourth annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award. This annual award was established in 2015 by the Board of Directors in honor of former board member and WCIA-TV anchor Dave Benton. The intent is to recognize a Champaign County citizen who most exemplifies the crime-fighting spirit that Dave Benton exhibited during his award-winning newscasts, programs, and during his tenure as a member of the Crime Stopper’s Board of Directors. He lost his battle against cancer in May of 2015.
 
Nominations are open to all residents of Champaign County. A nominee should be an individual who has made a difference in the fight against crime. This person must have been involved in an on-going activity or program that helped to stop a crime, solve a case or made a big difference in resolving a dangerous situation that made their neighborhood, community or Champaign County safer.
 
The Fourth Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award will be presented during the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors in July. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1st. Nomination Forms can be found on the Crime Stoppers website at 373tips.com. Printed forms are also available at the front desks of area police departments, and at the Sheriff's Office. The winner will also receive a monetary award of $500.


Crime Stoppers Announces Shred Event/Drug Drop-Off on April 21, 2018
April 17, 2018

Crime Stoppers of Champaign County and the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (D.E.A.) are joining together to provide a one-stop opportunity for residents to protect themselves from identity theft and to safely dispose of old prescription drugs. Crime Stoppers is sponsoring a Shred Event in conjunction with a D.E.A. free Drug Drop-Off on Saturday, April 21, 2018,from 9 a.m. –12 p.m., at Parkland College in Champaign. The events will be held in parking lot M, and participants should enter from Duncan Road. (SEE MAP).
 
The best way for people to protect themselves against identity theft is to make sure their personal information doesn’ fall into the wrong hands. Shredding old personal documents can get rid of the potential risk permanently. Crime Stoppers is working with Triad Shredding to provide off-site shredding of up to 5 banker’ boxes of documents to help residents protect themselves. Crime Stoppers is also asking for a small donation of $5 to help pay future rewards to tipsters who help solve crimes.
 
The following documents will be accepted: medical records, financial statements, credit applications, bank statements, documents with social security numbers or driver license numbers, bank checks, tax records, and legal documents over 8 years old.
 
At the same time, the D.E.A. is offering an easy way to prevent pill abuse and theft through the Drug Drop-Off. Residents can rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. People can bring their pills and patches, and the D.E.A. will also accept liquids as long as they are in leak-proof or sealed containers. But the D.E.A. cannot accept needles or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. In addition, usual methods for disposing of unused medicines such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards. More information about the Shred Event and Prescription Drug Take Back is available at 373-tips.com.


Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year & Crime Stoppers/Busey Mills Scholarship Winners Announced
July 26, 2017

Crimes Stoppers of Champaign County today announced the winner of the Third Annual Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award at the organization’s Annual Meeting held at the Elks Lodge in Savoy. Also, the recipient of the second Crime Stoppers/Busey-Mills Community Foundation Criminal Justice Scholarship was announced.

The winner of this year’s Dave Benton Crime Fighter of the Year Award is Tony Comtois. He works full-time with C-U At Home where he taps into his own life history to help the homeless, law enforcement, and to make the community safer. The Nominating Committee was impressed with Tony’s battle to overcome drug and alcohol problems and his own homelessness. He began turning his life around as a resident of the Times Shelter in Champaign
in 2006. He then went on to work at the Detox Center and the Salvation Army, and currently with C-U at Home. He can relate to the issues facing the homeless and uses that knowledge in an ongoing effort to make a difference in the lives of the homeless and in the community. Tony Comtois was nominated by former Urbana Police Chief Pat Connolly on behalf of
all Champaign County law enforcement agencies. Connolly said “Tony epitomizes the concept of this award by improving the long term interaction between the police and the homeless community.” His nomination highlights Tony’s importance to the local Law Enforcement community and how he helps officers deal with a growing problem that police are not trained to
deal with effectively.

The winner of the Second Annual Crime Stoppers/Busey-Mills Community Foundation Criminal Justice Scholarship is Danielle Boulos, Unity High School in Tolono. She said the scholarship would give her a greater chance of going to the University of Maryland for its top rated
criminology program. The underlining purpose of this scholarship program is to promote criminal justice as a career and to financially assist a graduating senior in their pursuit of an education in the field of criminal justice.



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