Need extra cash this holiday season? Report a tip to Crimestoppers

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2015, 9:54 PM EST

Have you been thinking about buying a new gaming system for the holidays? What about a new flat-screen television? 

Well if you know a criminal or of any criminal activity, you might be in luck.

“It’s Christmas time. You can have green cash and get rid of that pesky neighbor that you know has felony warrants outstanding,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Sandra Dunn with Heartland Crimestoppers says the holidays aren’t just reserved for family and fun. It’s when criminals get busy and the people who turn them in rake in the dough.

“They tend to get a little bit busier during this time of year,” Dunn said. “I don’t know if it’s really because of crime trends or better surveillance or if it’s because people realize that they can use extra money so they have more incentive to call.”

How good does $200 sound? What about $3,000? Well $200 is the average lowest amount crime stoppers will pay out, $3,000 is the most. The sheriff says depending on how bad they want the criminal that amount can be even more.

“Crime stoppers pays up to $3,000 but many times the sheriff’s office will even add a lot more money to that depending on how violent the person is, how dangerous they are, and how bad or how quick we need them in custody,” Judd said.

So if you want to help Heartland Crimestoppers, track down the armed thief who robbed a Boost Mobile store in Haines City last week.

Or if you know who killed Terry Yelvington in his Lake Alfred driveway earlier this year you could be eligible for a $20,000 reward!

The best part is you can remain anonymous and here’s how: You call in, give your tip and you get an assigned number and no other identifying info is exchanged.

“If the tip is approved we can pay out the tip and they get 90 days to go pick up the tip and I give them the bank to go to and I give them the process that they need to go through,” Dunn said.          

So, if you want cash in hand this holiday season law enforcement says it’s as simple as handing over a tip about a bad guy.

“How many of you can make $500 sitting on your couch making a 30 second phone call?” Judd said.

If you have any information on any open cases in the Bay area or if you know of any illegal activities, call Crimestoppers in your county: