When unarmed Aurora, Co., code-enforcement officer Rodney Morales was shot to death five years ago, a tipster collected $10,000 for leading detectives to his killer. Yet a witness who supplied police a jailhouse confession letter in the murder of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams saw only a portion of the $100,000 offered in that case, says the Denver Post. The announcement of reward money can capture headlines and draw out witnesses, as it did when Aurora police offered up to $20,000 last month in the chilling kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl, the highest reward in the department’s history.
“On some cases, we’ll get three or four tips that were really instrumental. In other cases, they’ll get a tip and end up arresting two people, ” said Michael Mills of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, which so far this year has paid $37,200 for information in 117 cases. Crime Stoppers, whose reward money comes from private donations, expects to make payments in an all-time high of 150 cases by the end of the year, Mills said, proof of reward money’s effect. The organization has received 1,567 tips so far this year on crimes ranging from bike thefts and animal cruelty to sex assault and homicide, he said. Those tips have yielded 133 payouts, some that led to multiple arrests.