Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 1975…
which saw the fatal shooting of Michael Carmen while he was working one night at a local filling station. After two weeks the police had no information about the murder. Out of desperation, Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local television station requesting a reconstruction of the crime. The re-enactment offered $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killers.
Within 72 hours, a person called in identifying a car leaving the scene at high speed and he had noted its registration. The person calling said that he did not want to get involved so he had not called earlier. Detective MacAleese then realized that fear and apathy were primary reasons that people were not sharing information about crimes. MacAleese helped design a system where the public could anonymously provide details of the events. It focused on stimulating community involvement and participation, taking advantage of every possible media opportunity, especially electronic media, to publicize unsolved crimes; and offering cash rewards for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction.
Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers USA programs have been responsible for more than six hundred thousand arrests, more than $4 billion in recovered property and drugs and over one hundred million in rewards paid out.
Crime Stoppers USA is not a member of Crime Stoppers International. In October 2012, a vote was taken to separate from this organization.
On the 19th of March 2013 an agreement was signed forming the International Affiliation of Crime Stoppers between Crime Stoppers of the United States of America and Crime Stoppers of the United Kingdom. This organization will seek to spread Crime Stoppers into other nations while keeping the principals of anonymity.
The Santa Fe Crime Stoppers program started shortly after in 1978, working with Santa fe Police Dept, Santa fe County Sheriff Office and NM State Police