Cash Rewards For Crime Tips Often Don’t Produce Results


In the two months since Chicago police officer Michael Bailey was shot to death outside his home, donors have put together a reward of more than $130,000 in the hope that it will bring forward an informant who can help solve the crime. It has not led to a break in the case. The Chicago Tribune says that while authorities had high hopes, they acknowledge that even a large purse does not guarantee a reward will work, particularly in the most violent cases. Some believe anonymity and peace of mind are more important than money to those who report criminals to law enforcement.

“Rewards sometimes are funny,” said Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis, who, before taking his post as Chicago’s top cop, worked for 22 years with the FBI. “In some places, they generate a lot of information and others they don’t.” In the last five years, the Chicago FBI office has advertised 74 postings for new, increased or joint rewards, offering more than $1 million. Ross Rice, an FBI spokesman, said he recalls that about six witnesses have come forward to claim rewards in that time frame.

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