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That person could also be eligible for a reward if the reported information results in an arrest. Crime Stopper programs are operated in many communities worldwide.
Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico when in July 1976 Michael Carmen, a university student working the night shift at a local gas station was fatally shot by two robbers. After several weeks the police had no information when out of desperation Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local television station requesting the airing of a re-enactment of the crime.
The re-enactment offered a financial reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers. Within hours of the broadcast, an individual called in valuable information. The video image had triggered the memory of this person who on that night heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas station and then saw a car driving off at high speed. The caller told MacAleese the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.
Within 72 hours this resulted in the arrest and conviction of two suspects who were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. MacAleese received other calls following the reenactment, including one that allowed police to solve the rape of a young woman.
At that time Albuquerque had one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country and people were afraid to help the police. However, realizing that this type of programme might be useful in fighting crime, MacAleese convinced the Albuquerque Police Department to allow a group of citizens to establish the first Crime Stoppers programme.
The growth of Crime Stoppers programmes around the world has been dramatic with programmes implemented in more than 1,200 communities around the world. Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers worldwide has been responsible for more than 800,000 arrests and the recovery of more than US$7 billion in drugs and personal property.