Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is a 501(c)(3) program designed to fight crime through the joint efforts of law enforcement, the news media, and the public. Crime Stoppers pays cash for information that leads to an arrest, an indictment, or the recovery of stolen property or banned substances. The tipster’s information is received through segregated telephone lines within the Lee County Sheriff’s headquarters facility located off Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. No caller information is taken, nor is the call recorded in any manner. Trish Routte, a Lee County Sheriff’s Office employee, is currently the coordinator and administers the office.
The original Crime Stoppers program was founded in Albuquerque, NM in 1976. Today Crime Stopper programs are located worldwide. Our program that serves Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties, began in 1981. Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is a member of the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers (FACS) and Southeastern Crime Stoppers Association.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers has a Board of Directors composed of members of our community. All of the Board members are volunteers. The Board meets monthly and guides the program through fund raising activities and by assisting with the education of the general public.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers receives no tax dollars. Our funding is the result of contributions from businesses, individuals, and service organizations in addition to the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. This trust fund is administered by the Office of the Attorney General. The trust fund money is assessed at the time of sentencing by trial judges in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit that covers our service area.
Since the inception of the Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers program tips have resulted in more than 7,233 arrests and more than 15,436 cases closed. In addition, property and narcotics valued at more than $14,426,379 have been recovered. As of March 31, 2014, 203 arrests have been made, 445 cases have been cleared and $38,495 in rewards have been approved.
A long list of murder suspects, robbery suspects, thieves, fugitives and hit and run drivers have been put behind bars this year thanks to your anonymous tips. Even the smallest piece of information can be helpful, so call us with what you know - and if it leads to an arrest, we'll make sure you get the cash!