I’ve always wondered how successful programs are that offer cash rewards for anonymous tips. According to Wikipedia, Crimestoppers, which was started in New Mexico in 1976, has solved more than 1,000,000 cases and resulted in more than 500,000 arrests.
Minnesota has a similar program called “Spotlight on Crime”.
Spotlight on Crime is a unique public-private partnership between Minnesota’s business community and the state’s crime fighters. It focuses on crimes that remain unsolved after investigative efforts have been exhausted. Only violent crimes against innocent victims are considered.
According to the program’s website (www.spotlightoncrime.org), “the concept of reward programs in Minnesota to help crime fighters solve cases is not new. However, none of these existing programs has Spotlight on Crime’s long-term public-private commitment, a focus solely on violent crimes such as homicides or abductions, the level of funding and the amount of money offered as rewards.”
Some of the companies involved in Minnesota’s Spotlight on Crime include some pretty big names like Target, Wal-Mart, General Mills and some banks. The donations are tax-deductible.
Since June 2001, more than $1 million has been offered in 21 Spotlight on Crime cases. Five of those cases have been solved and charges have been laid in a sixth. Those are pretty good statistics for cold case resolutions.
I think the time has come to establish a fund to be able to offer a significant cash reward in Theresa’s case.
The announcement of such a fund for Theresa Allore is yet another way to renew interest in the case and hopefully, motivate a few people to come forward with valuable tips. (With all the recent stories of crimes against women on Canadian campuses, it’s as good a time as any to get one started.)
Of course, we would need somebody to champion this cause. Any takers?