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Posted on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Donations could boost reward for information in Ann Arbor attacks

By Lee Higgins

Crime Stoppers said today it will accept donations to increase the $1,000 reward it's offering for information leading to an arrest in 6 attacks on women in Ann Arbor, including 2 rapes, between July 15 and July 26.

The non-profit has no plans to increase the reward on its own, but individuals or companies can make donations, provided the donations are substantial, said Rich Kinsey, the law enforcement coordinator for Crime Stoppers in Washtenaw County.

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The reward for the sexual assaults contrasts with a recently announced $25,000 reward offered in connection with a bank robbery.

Kinsey said the $25,000 reward announced Wednesday for information leading to arrests in a June 24 robbery at a PNC Bank branch in Ypsilanti Township is being offered by the bank. Crime Stoppers is funded by partner police agencies and corporate sponsors, said Kinsey, who also writes a column for

That, he said, leads to the discrepancy.

However, the gap could close with community donations.

Barbara Niess May, executive director of the SafeHouse Center in Pittsfield Township, which offers support for victims of sexual and domestic assault, said she hopes people will take advantage of the opportunity to donate.

She said she wishes there could be a $25,000 reward offered in the investigation into the string of attacks, but understands that may simply not be possible. The whole community needs to work together to bring an end to the attacks, she said.

Kinsey said the reward amount being offered by Crime Stoppers is consistent with other cases. For tips leading to arrests in crimes that are not homicides, Crime Stoppers typically offers $1,000, he said. For information leading to arrests in homicides, the organization typically offers $2,500.

To date, Crime Stoppers has received an estimated 100 tips on the attacks. This morning, a University of Michigan student was grabbed by a man while she was walking on Thompson Street, before she broke free, but police said it does not appear to be related to the other 6 incidents.

Crime Stoppers ensures tipsters remain anonymous, Kinsey said, from the initial phone call to when they pick up the reward.

“You’re name won’t come up,” Kinsey said. “You won’t have to testify in court. But we need that information.”

In order to make a donation, people must contact Kinsey and sign a contract, specifying the money will go toward the reward. Information on how to make general donations to Crime Stoppers of Michigan can be found on its website at

To make a donation in the Ann Arbor case, call Kinsey at (734) 794-6932. Anyone with a tip can call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) SPEAK UP.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

How much would I need to donate in order to keep Kinsey from ever writing another column? His Barney Fife pieces must be an embarassment to those who do real police work.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

I see no reason why the rapist would choose to remain in this town after all of the ruckus Ann Arbor dwellers are making. I doubt that he's even from here in the first place.

Milton Shift

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:16 a.m.

The money banks "own" is more valuable than your life. That's what they say when they post a $25,000 reward for a bank robbery and a $1000 reward for a serial rapist.

average joe

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

Kind of a sad statement of where our priorities are- catching a person who robbed this one bank is worth more than catching a rapist who has attacked several women.

Mr Blue

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Banks? People? You make the call!


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

I would think that UM with it's millions and millions in various funds would want to donate money to this fund to help to protect their students. If they can spend millions on a football coach, why not spend a few thousand to catch the campus area rapist?


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

If Kinsey thinks that the award amount is consistent with other similar crimes, then why is his organization requesting more? So, if say, $25K is offered for a bank heist and good ole fashion police work catches the criminal, what happens to this money that has been offered by corporations and the like? If it isn't claimed, couldn't it "roll-over" like an IRA? If not? Why not? Just a thought. I mean, if corporations were willing to offer it and nothing is done with it, roll it over towards the next crime. This way you might always have a balance to be used when unsolved rape cases occur.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

You think that a bank, offering a reward to get their own money back (possibly via their insurance company) is going to give that money towards future rewards if they don't need to pay it out? I personally don't see that a bigger reward is going to have an impact (next to last option on survey), but if Crimestoppers wants more money in their kitty then a community-wide appeal would make sense, including all downtown businesses.

Mr Blue

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

I already donate via property taxes. Maybe a progressive income tax on commuting workers, many at the UM, more than a few making six figure and above salaries is a way to get the mighty overlord UM to pony up for the fire and police protection of their paying customers.