Robbery tipster claims Crime Stoppers did not pay $1,000 reward



Posted on April 9, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 7:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Police were building their case in April against three people accused in a string of pharmacy robberies.

Crime Stoppers offered a cash reward to help catch the culprits. One man told KREM 2 News he had a major hand in the investigation but still had not received his reward money.

A total of four arrests were made after the rash of robberies plagued Spokane in January. The man KREM 2 News spoke with said that never would have happened without his help.

READ: SPD wants multiple charges for accused pharmacy robbers

“I saw the surveillance video that was all over the news. And if you've ever spent any time with those people you pretty much knew right away who they were,” said the man.

The witness said he knew he had to go to police when he realized he knew who was behind the string of armed pharmacy robberies.

“I just thought the people should be off the streets,” said the man.

The man said he called Crime Stoppers twice with tips about the suspects. That is when police sent him to make a controlled drug buy from the thieves, even going so far as wearing a wire so officers could gather all the evidence they needed.

The wire worked.

READ: Pharmacy robbery suspect denies prior knowledge about the crime

Three adults and one juvenile were arrested and face dozens of charges.

The man is still waiting for his reward. He said he was promised at least $1,000 in exchange for his help.

An email from Spokane police showed how the man helped in the investigation and assured him he would be paid.

Crime Stoppers told KREM 2 News they were still verifying the information and going through the process of releasing the reward money.

KREM 2 News asked authorities how important it is that the Crime Stoppers system works.

“Well, it's very important. It's been around for a long time, and over the year's they've produced many valuable tips that led to arrests. We work closely with them. And while they are not part of the police department, they do help us greatly,” said Lieutenant Alan Arnzen with the Spokane Police Department.

The witness said he feels the system did not work for him at all. KREM 2 News asked the man if he questions why he helped police out.
“I do. If I'd know this is where I'd be three months later, I never would have done it,” said the man.

The man said he had been hoping to use the reward money to get away from Spokane.

Crime Stoppers was not able to give KREM 2 News a timeline on Wednesday on when the reward money will be available for the man.