Tip led police to huge Rocky area drug bust

One anonymous tip leading to a huge drug bust near Rocky Mountain House in December made 2013 one of Central Alberta Crime Stoppers’ best-ever statistical years of weeding out crime.

One anonymous tip leading to a huge drug bust near Rocky Mountain House in December made 2013 one of Central Alberta Crime Stoppers’ best-ever statistical years of weeding out crime.

Police availed themselves of a tip about a grow operation at a rural property east of Rocky in December, and were able to seize 285 marijuana plants worth $342,000 as a result.

That bust was one of four conducted during the year that benefited from a Crime Stoppers tip.

It was by far the largest of the four — two other cases resulted in $8,000 worth of property being recovered by police and $1,000 worth of drugs was seized due to another tip.

Just over 500 tips were received from Central Alberta in 2013, resulting in six arrests and 19 charges being laid.

Fourteen arrests were made and 26 charges laid in 2012, based on a similar number of tips.

Central Alberta Crime Stoppers board chair Deb Mann said 2013 was a good year for the organization locally. She said tips received can save police hundreds of hours of investigative work.

Tipsters are eligible for financial rewards if their information helps lead to an arrest, but most do not collect.

In 2013, four rewards worth $485 were approved by the local board, but only a reward valued at $175 was paid out. In 2012, 11 rewards worth $2,220 were approved, but only three were collected, worth $850.

Since the organization started up in 1982, little more than one-10th of all approved financial compensation is collected.

“Very few people phone back to collect,” said Mann, “They phone back to find out and when we say, ‘Yes, you are eligible for a reward because of the tip,’ they say ‘Oh no, don’t worry about it, I just wanted to see the right thing done.’ It’s very heartwarming to hear that.”

The local organization keeps all approved monies in a tip account for at least two years in case anyone is tardy in checking back in.

Tips can be submitted anonymously anytime by calling 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com.

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