WEST READING, Pa. - Berks County's number one crime stopper marked a milestone Wednesday.
It was a chance to celebrate 14 years of making Berks County a safer place by helping to put criminals behind bars.
In June, the Metro Bank in Cumru Township was robbed. Police have since charged Alvin Reyes-Marrero with the crime. Officials said the people who tipped off the authorities earned $1,800, all by calling Crime Alert: Berks County, officials said.
Barry Rohrbach founded Crime Alert: Berks County, a non-profit organization, 14 years ago.
"The crime today, it's rampant, not only in Berks County, but all over the country. We're like being another policeman," said Rohrbach.
Crime Alert Berks County also kicked off its 15th year with a $30,000 donation from Redner's Warehouse Markets.
Redner's has been a major supporter since its vice president, Gary Redner, was beaten to death and found outside his home in Lower Heidelberg Township.
The crime happened in 2008, but Crime Alert Berks County is still ready to hand out $120,000 for the tip that leads to the murderer.
"We have that money all ready to go," said Rohrbach. "That would fill up a nice suitcase. And everything is paid in cash by the way."
Organizers said the non-profit is the most successful program of its kind in the state. It's helped solve more than a half-dozen murders and assisted in more than 500 arrests.
The key, they said, is allowing tipsters to call anonymously, no questions asked.
"And the more we do, we're going to get more tips, and we're going to solve more crimes," said Rohrbach.
Anybody with information on any unsolved crimes in Berks County is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County. The number is 877-373-9913.
Allentown, PA 18102