GRAEME BRUCE/BRANDON SUN
Captain Crime Stopper entertains the crowd during the organization's annual luncheon at the Great Western Roadhouse at Canad Inns on Thursday.
Brandon Crime Stoppers helped lead the Brandon Police Service to recover $2.3 million in stolen property and drugs, making 2012 a big year for the anonymous tip hotline.
The volunteer-driven organization helped close 77 BPS cases through 347 tips in 2012.
Crime Stoppers statistics in Brandon have remained constant with the exception of a handful of major drug busts, according to co-ordinator Ron Burgess, who discussed the year’s numbers during the Crime Stoppers Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday at The Great Western Roadhouse.
"The Brandon program contributed towards the successful outcome of several high-profile drug cases," he said. "Because of this, our seized drug total was more than tripled dating back to its inception in 1985."
Through the organization’s weekly "Wanted by Police" campaign, 34 arrests were made out of the 50 featured throughout the year.
Outgoing BPS Chief Keith Atkinson was on hand during the lunch to congratulate the organization.
"Last year was an exceptional year for the amount of stolen goods and drugs recovered, and it’s a testament of how well the program works here," Atkinson said.
One unsolved crime was closed in 2012 through the "Crime of the Week" campaign when an off-duty BPS member was reading about the details of a months-old power tool theft in the newspaper in December and realized he had seen the stolen tools. Following a sting operation, close to $1,000 worth of tools were recovered.
Crime Stoppers board chairman Rick Thomson has been part of the organization for 12 years and said the organization doesn’t plan on adding any initiatives in the future, but ended his presentation with a video about human trafficking, something he said everyone — even people in Brandon — should be aware of.
"Human trafficking is becoming more apparent … it’s becoming a problem all over," he said following his presentation. "It’s in Canada, it’s just people don’t know how to identify it."
"It can happen here."
Since its beginning 28 years ago, Brandon Crime Stoppers has helped close more than 2,100 Brandon Police Service cases through more than 7,000 tips, resulting in $4.2 million recovered in stolen property and drugs.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 25, 2013