How Crime Stoppers Protects The Privacy Of Tipsters

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was an anonymous tip into Crime Stoppers that helped bring the people who left Amber Green’s son and husband with significant head injuries to justice.

“I pleaded for help,” Green tells WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty.

She did, in front of TV cameras in 2018, begging for anyone who knew anything about who drove into her husband and son in front of a Harris Teeter and took off, to call Crime Stoppers.

“We were at a loss. Weeks continued to go by with no resolution,” says Green.

More than 60 tips poured into the tip line. A detective investigated every one. “He was able to put all the pieces together, find all three individuals responsible for doing this, and arrest them,” Green says.

“Most people just don’t want to get involved,” says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Adrian Johnson. He runs Crime Stoppers in Charlotte. “Not getting involved” is tied to the code of conduct around snitching, which he hits head on. Multiple times, actually, when we talked:

“I know how people feel about snitching.”

“People don’t believe in snitching.”

“Crime Stoppers helps out with that. With that fear of snitching.”

Johnson is absolutely confident in the layers of protection to keep tipsters anonymous. It starts at the beginning. When you call 704-334-1600, it’s not even answered locally. “It goes through a call center in Canada,” says Johnson.

Call center operators don’t take your name or number. When the tip is forwarded to Johnson, “The tip comes in as a tip number.”

You can also download the Crime Stoppers app, which means: “You don’t have to talk to anyone,” explains Johnson.

In 2019, more than 3,100 tips were called into Crime Stoppers, the most ever. There were 111 arrests. 19 recovered firearms. And $22,000 in cash given to tipsters.

Johnson is now working on another layer of protection: a way to deposit money directly into tipster’s bank accounts, which would eliminate the current cash drop-off.

“I am not trying to figure out who they are,” assures Johnson.

Green has no idea who the tipsters are who solved her family’s case. But if they’re watching, she says tearfully, “Thank you so much. I don’t mean to get emotional but, thank you for the confidence and boldness you had in calling in and helping solve the crime.”

Amber’s husband has permanent neurological damage from the hit and run crash. Her son has fully recovered. Meantime, police still need help solving the Brooks Sandwich House murder case. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers.