A program that kept tipsters anonymous
helped keep the crime hidden.
The police officer formerly in charge of the Dallas Crime Stoppers program, Theadora Ross, 50, was arrested for fraud.
The Crime Stoppers program works by paying confidential informants for tips that lead to the arrest of criminals.
The program was designed so that tipsters could remain anonymous. Someone with a tip about a crime would call Crime Stoppers and receive a tip number.
Police officers, including Ms. Ross, would decide if the tip was valuable enough to receive a reward. They would present any "successful" tips to the North Texas Crime Commission, which funded the program and approved the payouts.
Tipsters would periodically call to see if their tip was going to earn a cash reward.
If they earned a reward, the tipster would receive a special tip number and a code word. Then the tipster could go to a local bank, present that information, and receive cash.
Tipsters could receive up to $5,000 for a successful tip.
It's alleged that Ross gave an accomplice, Malva R. Delley, 36, fake tip numbers and codes. Ms. Delley would go to the bank and anonymously collect the reward and split it with Ms. Ross.
Over five years, they collected $250,000 by submitting fake tips and receiving cash.
Police first became suspicious when a man who went to the bank to collect his reward said that someone had already claimed it. Later, a bank teller recognized Ms. Delley, who had shown up more than once to collect money from the program.
Security measures for the Crime Stoppers program have been increased.
- Former Head of Dallas Crime Stoppers Office Indicted, FBI press release, Dallas>>
- Here's a tip: Don't defraud Dallas Crime Stoppers, Christian Science Monitor>>
Dallas officer in charge of Crime Stoppers arrested after investigation into missing funds, The Dallas - - Morning News>>