Got a Tip? Call Arlington Crime Solvers.

The hotline offers cash rewards for info leading to an arrest.

In December 2016, a motorist on I-395’s Washington Boulevard exit noticed a suspicious vehicle on the side of the road and a man removing tape from its license plate. The tipster quickly called 1-866-411-TIPS, the Arlington County Crime Solvers (ACCS) hotline, and, a year later, received a $650 reward for contributing to arrests associated with a failed Arlington jewelry store robbery.

Launched 18 years ago, Arlington’s nonprofit Crime Solvers hotline offers an anonymous and untraceable way for citizens to report suspected crimes. A tip leading to an arrest can yield a cash award of up to $1,000. (To collect the reward, the tipster presents an eight-digit number at a branch of John Marshall Bank; no identification is required.) The cash awards are largely funded by community members, such as a recent $5,000 donation from the family of Paul Zeller, whose 2006 murder in Pentagon City remains unsolved.

ACCS president Andres Tobar, also executive director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, says the hotline appeals to individuals who may have a lead, but are uncomfortable contacting the police directly. “I deal with the immigrant community a lot,” he says. “[Sometimes] they can’t tell who’s ICE and who’s local police.” The promise of anonymity has led to valuable intel that might otherwise go unreported, says police department spokesperson Ashley Savage. “When [people] use Crime Solvers, there are no court appearances…and their identity never has to be revealed to law enforcement.”

 


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