The Crime Stoppers concept started in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976. A teen was shot and murdered during a robbery, in a well-traveled, well-lit area in town on a busy Friday night. Weeks of investigation turned up no clues, and no one who saw the incident offered information or assistance. Detectives decided that there were two reasons why no offered assistance on this case. Either the public was afraid for their own physical safety from the culprits or they just did not care or want to get involved. To solve the problem of fear for their well-being, tipsters were offered anonymity, and to combat apathy they were offered cash rewards.
Police could not offer rewards for anonymous information, so they needed a community board that could raise the money and pay the rewards. The community stepped up to the plate in masses. In order to spread a detailed account of the crime to the community as well as the anonymity and rewards, they needed the help of the media. Assistance was offered by the media and the first ever Crime Stoppers reenactment was done. It resulted in a case-solving tip the very next day. Furthermore, it also solved 4-5 other violent crimes.
Word spread quickly reqarding this incident and soon there were other U.S. programs. Today, community and student Crime Stoppers programs reach around the world and are presented by the Nation/Regions of the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the South/Western Pacific. The Crime Stoppers program has enjoyed great success with the information received which has led to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for committing felony offenses, boasting an average conviction rate of approximately 95% on cases solved by a tip to the program.