Champaign County Crime Stoppers teams up with Illini basketball stars to promote crime awareness
February 01, 2023
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is teaching young people about crime awareness and prevention through a new digital advertisement featuring Illini basketball players Luke Goode and Ty Rodgers.
The ad is being broadcast on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok and has already reached thousands. Goode and Rodgers were filmed at the Stephen’s Family YMCA in Champaign. The partnership was possible thanks to Illinois’ name, image, and likeness law for college athletes.
“Being a great team means everyone works together,” Rodgers says to lead off the message.
“If you cannot talk to a teacher or the police, Crime Stoppers is anonymous and willing to pay up to $5,000 if your tip leads to an arrest,” Goode says.
The ad concludes with Rodgers telling viewers to download the P3 Tips app to anonymously report a crime and be eligible for a cash reward.
“Young people often have information about things going on in their school or neighborhood but are hesitant to provide information or don’t know how to anonymously,” says Josh Henson, general manager of Adams Outdoor Advertising in Champaign and the Crime Stoppers board member who oversaw creation of the ad. “This video reaches kids and teens where they are with a simple and relatable message.”
Crime Stoppers would like to thank Kam Cox at the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and Renae Cory at the Stephen’s Family YMCA for their support in making the advertisement.
Crime Stoppers’ efforts to get criminals off the streets continue to receive support from local law enforcement and governing bodies. Since Crime Stoppers introduced its illegal gun bounty reward program in January 2019, anonymous tips have led to 67 arrests, 81 illegal guns recovered, and $86,000 in rewards to tipsters.
In March 2022, Crime Stoppers increased its reward in homicide cases to $5,000. Since then, there have been two such arrests thanks to anonymous tips.
In January 2023 alone, the Crime Stoppers board approved $13,750 in rewards, including five illegal gun bounty rewards of $2,500 each.
Support Crime Stoppers During Holiday Shopping
November 14, 2022
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is reminding the public it can support the
nonprofit during holiday shopping with no strings attached through Amazon Smile.
Amazon Smile is a subset of the online Amazon marketplace which features the same products as Amazon. All the public has to do is visit smile.amazon.com and select “Crimestoppers of Champaign County Inc” as their charity. Then, shop as normal, and a portion of the amount goes to Crime Stoppers’ efforts to get criminals off the streets.
Since Crime Stoppers rolled out its illegal gun bounty reward program in 2019, anonymous tips have led to 61 arrests, 71 illegal guns off the streets and $73,500 in rewards. Crime Stoppers tips have also played a role in the arrest of two murder suspects since March 2022. Under the current rewards structure, felony gun crime tips that lead to an arrest mean a $2,500 payout for the tipster.
For homicide cases, the reward is $5,000.
“It’s clear the community is stepping up to clean up the streets, but there is still more work to do,” said John Hecker, president of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “Crime Stoppers is a volunteer organization that relies on donations to do its important work of facilitating crime tips and holding crime awareness events. Amazon Smile is a quick and easy way for the public to chip in with no
Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone, Even the Protectors. Shred Event is 10/29/2022
October 26, 2022
As Champaign County Crime Stoppers prepares to host another identity theft awareness event, the volunteer organization is reminding you that no one is immune to the crime.
A Crime Stoppers board member recently had their Facebook page hacked. The board member was an administrator of the Champaign County Crime Stoppers Facebook page, leading to that page being lost, too. Months of back and forth with Facebook finally led to both pages being restored.
“Identity theft is, unfortunately, something we have to think about every day in this digital age,” said John Hecker, president of Champaign County Crime
Stoppers. “You should be cautious when doing business online or over the phone and safely get rid of any sensitive documents you don’t need anymore.”
On Saturday, October 29, 2022, Crime Stoppers, Champaign Police, and Triad Shredding will host another event for the public to safely get rid of old documents, cell phones and drugs. The event will be held in lot E14 at First and Kirby in Champaign from 9-11 a.m. See the map below for the traffic pattern.
Frequently asked questions about the event:
- Can I get in line early? Yes, but expect a short wait no matter what time you arrive as this has become a popular event. Please do not stop on the street while you wait.
- How much can I bring? The only limit is two bankers boxes of documents. We suggest a $10 donation for documents and a $10 donation for cell phones.
- Are there separate lines for each category? No, there is one line.
- What drugs are accepted? Prescription and non-prescription pills, patches, capsules, tablets, powders, sealed insulin vials, vitamins, ointments and patches. Pet medications of these types are also accepted. Please have the items in some sort of container, if possible, like a pill bottle or plastic bag.
- What drugs are not accepted? Needles and other sharps, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, lotions, liquids and hydrogen peroxide. Ask your local pharmacy or police department about disposal of these items.
- What if a loved one passes away and I find illegal drugs in their home?Can I bring them to this event? We recommend you contact your local police department.
- Do I need to remove my name from the pill bottle label? No, this service is anonymous.
“It’s important to get unwanted drugs into the hands of law enforcement so they don’t fall into the wrong hands,” said Hecker. “Pharmacy professionals have heard stories of young people raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets and passing out pills at parties, a dangerous and deadly idea.
“Additionally, some people like to hold on to prescription pills in case they get sick again. Experts also say that’s not a good idea,” Hecker added.
for more information on identity theft from the Crime Stoppers website.
Crime Stoppers’ Popular Paper Shredding and Prescription Drug Drop Off Event is April 23
April 04, 2022
Champaign County Crime Stoppers, in partnership with Triad Shredding, will once again offer community members a one-stop opportunity to safely dispose of their personal documents, unwanted prescription drugs, and unused cell phones this spring. This is an important fundraiser for Crime Stoppers, and participant donations will be used to pay out cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve crimes across Champaign County.
This spring’s event will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in University of Illinois parking Lot E14. This parking lot is at the corner of First and Kirby in Champaign – just west of the State Farm Center. Participants will enter the lot from First Street and follow the marked path to the collection site. Event workers will be on site to guide you.
Crime Stoppers is asking for a small $10 donation to shred up to two bankers boxes of private documents, including: old income tax records, bank statements, pay stubs, medical records, cancelled checks, legal documents, utility bills, etc. Shredding these types of personal documents is an important way to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. All documents that are collected will be transported to Triad Shredding’s secure off-site facility for destruction. At our spring 2021 event, Crime Stoppers collected 7,500 pounds of personal documents to be shredded.
Crime Stoppers is also partnering with the DEA to accept and properly dispose of unneeded prescription medications. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps to prevent pill abuse, overdoses, theft, and also helps protect the environment. Participants can drop off prescription pills and patches, which will be securely transported and incinerated. Liquids, needles, and sharps cannot be accepted. The prescription drug drop-off service is provided free of charge. A uniformed police officer will be on site to collect the medications. Crime Stoppers thanks the Champaign Police Department for their continued support with this important collection. During our spring 2021 collection, Crime Stoppers collected 117 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs in just two hours.
Crime Stoppers and Triad Shredding are also offering to recycle unwanted cell phones for an additional $10 donation. Collected phones will be shredded at Triad Shredding’s off-site facility and the components will be responsibly recycled.
For more information about this event, please visit our website at 373tips.com.
Crime Stoppers Announces Larger Rewards for Tips Solving Homicides and Illegal Gun Crimes
March 02, 2022
Maximum Reward Increased to $5,000
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is announcing a significant increase in the cash rewards paid out for anonymous tips that help solve homicide and felony gun crimes in Champaign County. Crime Stoppers will now pay a $5,000 cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest in a homicide case, and $2,500 for tips leading to an arrest in a felony crime involving a firearm. Crime Stoppers’ previous maximum reward for these types of crimes was $1,000. The ability to raise our rewards is possible thanks to increased donations from the public and a grant from the City of Champaign. The increased rewards go into effect immediately and will be applied to new tips that are approved by the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors starting at their March 31st meeting.
“Champaign County Crime Stoppers wants to continue to be part of the solution and help eliminate the illegal gun crimes that have plagued Champaign County in recent years,” said John Hecker, President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “Our maximum reward had been $1,000 since our nonprofit agency was first established 35 years ago. Thanks to a recent increase in fundraising, and a generous grant from the City of Champaign, I’m pleased to share we can now offer larger rewards that we believe will encourage more people to step forward and help solve these senseless, violent crimes.”
A $5,000 cash reward will be paid for a tip that leads to the arrest of a person who committed a homicide anywhere in Champaign County, regardless of whether or not a firearm was used. In addition, tips that qualify for Crime Stoppers’ Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program will now result in a $2,500 cash reward to the tipster. Illegal Gun Bounty Rewards are paid for any tip that leads to the arrest of an individual who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County. Since 2019, the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program has been successful in taking 57 illegal weapons off the streets and the arrest of 47 suspects.
Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen said, “The impact of Crime Stoppers in helping to catch and convict those responsible for gun violence in our community is undisputed. The Champaign City Council’s support for this program continues to enhance the City’s partnership with this impactful program.”
Urbana Police Chief Bryant Seraphin added, “Of my 27 ½ years working at the Urbana Police Department, sixteen of those years were spent in the investigations division. Many times, a Crime Stoppers tip was the catalyst to get a case moving forward. I can’t imagine not having a local Crime Stoppers program, and any effort to build on to the program will be a positive use of resources.”
Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips from the public by phone (217-373-TIPS), web (373tips.com), and through the free P3 Tips mobile app. Tips are accepted for any criminal activity, whether a homicide, gun crime, "Crime of the Week", wanted fugitive, or any other crime or potential crime the tipster has information about. Learn more about Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 373tips.com.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers’ Announces Youth Scholarship Award Recipient
October 14, 2021
Board Member Kris Fitzpatrick (L) and scholarship winner Jacke Pranada (R)
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is pleased to announce that Jackie Pranada is the 2021 recipient of our organization’s Criminal Justice Scholarship. Ms. Pranada was awarded the $500 scholarship to further her
education at Parkland College where she will pursue a career in criminal justice.
“I want to congratulate Ms. Pranada on her many accomplishments as a recent graduate of Champaign Central High School and her ongoing service to the community,” said John Hecker, President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to express how impressed we were with Ms. Pranada’s scholarship application and essay. She clearly has a passion for helping others and we’re pleased to be able to award her this scholarship so she can continue on her chosen career path to positively change lives for the better.”
Jackie Pranada said, “I can list out every single synonym for the word ‘grateful’ but none of them will truly express how I feel. I'm on quite a complex route, but thanks to this scholarship, I'm able to be one step closer to each profession that interests me, especially the criminal justice field."
The purpose of Crime Stoppers’ scholarship program is to promote criminal justice as a career and to financially assist a graduating senior from Champaign County who is pursuing an education in that field.
The scholarship is made possible thanks to Kris Fitzpatrick, a member of Crime Stoppers Board of Directors and a 34-year veteran of law enforcement.
Founded in 1986, Champaign County Crime Stoppers is a local nonprofit that serves to provide a way for residents to anonymously report information about crimes in Champaign County. Individuals who provide
information through Crime Stoppers are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information provided leads to an arrest. Tips can be made anonymously by phone (217-373-TIPS), on our website (373tips.com
), or through our free “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Crime Stoppers’ Popular Paper Shredding and Prescription Drug Drop Off Event Returns October 23
October 05, 2021
Champaign County Crime Stoppers, in association with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Triad Shredding, will once again offer community members a one-stop opportunity to safely dispose of their personal documents, unwanted prescription drugs, and unused cell phones. This is an important fundraiser for Crime Stoppers, and participant donations will be used so we can continue to pay out cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve crimes across Champaign County.
This fall’s event will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 9-11 a.m. in University of Illinois parking Lot E14. This parking lot is at the corner of First and Kirby in Champaign – just west of the State Farm Center. Participants need to enter the lot from First Street and follow the marked path to the collection site. Event workers will be on site to guide you.
Crime Stoppers is asking for a small $10 donation to shred u
p to two bankers boxes of private documents, including: old income tax records, bank statements, pay stubs, medical records, cancelled checks, legal documents, utility bills, etc. Shredding these types of personal documents is an important way to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. All documents that are collected will be transported to Triad Shredding’s secure off-site facility for destruction. In April 2021, Crime Stoppers collected 7,500 pounds of personal documents to be shredded.
Crime Stoppers is also partnering with the DEA for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 23. This part of our event offers participants an easy way to properly dispose of unneeded prescription medications. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps to prevent pill abuse, overdoses, theft, and also helps protect the environment. Participants can drop off prescription pills and patches which will be securely transported and incinerated. Liquids, needles, and sharps cannot be accepted. The prescription drug drop-off service is provided free of charge. A uniformed police officer will be on site to collect the medications. Crime Stoppers thanks the Champaign Police Department for their continued support with this important collection. During its April 2021 collection event, Crime Stoppers collected 117 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs in just two hours.
Crime Stoppers and Triad Shredding are also offering to recycle unwanted cell phones for an additional $10 donation. Collected phones will be shredded at Triad Shredding’s off-site facility and the components will be responsibly recycled.
Crime Stoppers will
follow public health guidelines to minimize contact between the public and event organizers while the pandemic continues. For the health and safety of everyone, event workers and public participants must wear face masks at the event site. Participants may choose to exit their vehicles and place materials to dispose of on a table or they may allow masked event workers to remove their materials from vehicle trunks or truck beds.
For more information about this event, please visit our website at 373tips.com.. For a list or record retention guidelines, visit bit.ly/RecordsGuidelines.
Crime Stoppers Seeks Public Support to Increase Reward Limit for Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program
September 20, 2021
As gun violence continues to plague our communities, Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking financial support from the public in order to increase the impact of the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program. As a nonprofit, Crime Stoppers relies upon community donations to support the organization’s mission of solving crimes in Champaign County. Today Crime Stoppers is announcing the launch of a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds to enhance rewards paid for the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program.
The Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program was established to incentivize individuals, who may otherwise be afraid to talk to police, to share crime tips anonymously with Crime Stoppers. Through the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program, persons who provide tips which lead to the arrest of an individual who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County will be awarded the program’s current maximum $1,000 cash reward. Champaign County Crime Stoppers would like to increase this amount. To make a tax-deductible donation to the new Go Fund Me page, please visit bit.ly/ChampaignCrimeStoppers
“Members of our community are rightfully concerned about the significant increase in gun violence that is harming our communities; most recently even those involving school children. We believe many of our residents may have a willingness to help but are unsure of what they can do,” said John Hecker, President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “Supporting Crime Stoppers with a financial donation is a positive way for individuals and businesses to step forward and help. We have experienced too many injuries and lives lost, as well as the destructive aftermath of stray bullets and irresponsible gun activity. Crime Stoppers is proud to provide the platform for our citizens to offer anonymous tips on criminal activity which helps put an end to these harmful behaviors. However, we need the public and local businesses to help support us financially so we can continue to deliver this important and impactful service.”
Since the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward was introduced in 2019, anonymous tips from the public have led to the removal of 35 illegal firearms from our neighborhood’s streets. The following statistics demonstrate the success of the program from inception through September 1, 2021:
- $30,000 in cash rewards have been awarded to tipsters through the Illegal Gun Bounty Program.
- 32 individuals involved in illegal gun crimes have been arrested.
- 35 firearms have been recovered
- Recovery of $3,000 in cash.
To qualify for a reward, tips must come directly to Crime Stoppers via phone (217-373-TIPS), our website (373tips.com
), or through our free P3 Tips mobile app. The anonymity of all individuals providing information to Crime Stoppers is guaranteed.
My Turn: Protect Our Community Through Crime Stoppers
April 27, 2021
Gunshots ring out in the night. A mother cries uncontrollably over her child’s body. Police investigate, knocking on doors, asking people what they saw, seeking justice for a grieving family. But all too often witnesses won’t share what they know, leaving criminals free to walk the streets and heartbroken families searching for answers.
In his April 14 article titled “There’s a reason not to snitch,” News-Gazette columnist Jay Simpson seemingly offers that staying quiet is justifiable, saying, “If a situation has nothing to do with you, then you don’t even bother getting involved, even if you saw what happened.” Simpson explains that “snitching” is unacceptable in some communities and can have negative consequences for those caught sharing information with police. We don’t doubt that retaliation can be a real concern for those seen talking with law enforcement. But there are ways for witnesses to step up and do the right thing without putting themselves in any type of jeopardy. For 35 years Champaign County Crime Stoppers has provided simple and anonymous ways for people to share information about criminal activity in Champaign County.
We counter Jay Simpson’s premise by suggesting that the notion of “not snitching” be reserved for lesser situations like who scratched dad’s car and not used to protect a criminal who shoots another human being just because they posted something they didn’t like on social media or were otherwise disrespected. For those who understand that to truly be part of a community we all have to watch out for and protect one another from those who seek to harm our community, Crime Stoppers could be the solution.
We realize that many may be unsure of how Crime Stoppers works, or mistakenly believe that Crime Stoppers is a unit of law enforcement. We’d like to address those misconceptions and explain the great lengths that our local nonprofit, all-volunteer group takes to ensure that anyone providing information to Crime Stoppers is always 100 percent, guaranteed to be kept anonymous.
Since 1986, Champaign County Crime Stoppers has filled an important role as an easy way for residents to share information about criminal activity in their community while assuring the tipster is never identified. Crime Stoppers provides several convenient ways for community members to share information about crimes in Champaign County without any fear of reprisals or retaliation. Crime tips can be provided via our phone line (217-373-TIPS), our website (373tips.com), or through our free “P3 Tips” mobile app. Crime Stoppers will never ask for a tipster’s name, our phone lines are not recorded, we don’t use caller ID, and we pay significant fees for various technologies that strip and eliminate every trace of data associated with a phone call or computer IP address. There is absolutely no way for a tipster’s identity to ever be known…by anyone…ever.
We also recognize that in some cases a monetary reward can incentivize people to step forward and share information. Crime Stoppers has always offered cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of individuals involved in criminal activity in Champaign County. In early 2019, recognizing an alarming rise in gun-related crime locally, we launched a new program to incentivize people to share information about gun-related crimes. Now in its third year, the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program guarantees our maximum $1,000 cash reward for an anonymous tip that leads to the arrest of a person who used a gun during the commission of a felony crime in Champaign County. In just over two years, the Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program awarded $24,000 in cash rewards for anonymous tips that resulted in the arrest of 26 individuals charged with gun-related felony crimes and the removal of 32 illegal firearms off our streets. Because of the ongoing success of the program, and thanks to funding support from the Champaign County Community Coalition and the City of Champaign, we’re able to continue providing the program as an incentive to share information about gun-related crimes that continue to harm our sense of community.
It’s no secret that gun violence both nationally and in Champaign County has risen at an alarming rate. Far too many members of our community, including innocent victims caught in the crossfire, have been killed or injured in these senseless shootings. Law enforcement, elected officials, and community leaders repeatedly ask for the public’s help to solve these crimes. But when witnesses don’t come forward to share what they know, whether directly to law enforcement or anonymously through Crime Stoppers, they’re letting down and hurting the very community we all know and love. Champaign County is an amazing place to live, work, visit, and raise a family. But we have to put the notion of “not snitching” behind us and realize the importance of what it means to be a community, to provide grieving families justice, and to hold those who choose to hurt our community accountable for their actions.
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.”
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.
|Page 1 of 3||57 Records||Prev | Next|