Secret Witness urges residents to speak up about vehicle and metal thefts

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Secret Witness urges residents to speak up about vehicle and metal thefts

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After a spate of unsolved vehicle and scrap metal thefts around Reno, the Secret Witness program is urging residents to offer anonymous tips for cash rewards.

Secret Witness is a nonprofit group run by concerned citizens like Ken Lightfoot, who serves on the board of directors and has more than thirty years of law enforcement experience with the Sparks Police Department.

Lightfoot says recent scrap metal burglaries have forced local organizations to pay thousands of dollars for replacement parts.

"We've also had a couple of instances recently where churches, schools, and parks have had the wiring to their lighting, their parking lot lighting, and also valves from their irrigation systems stolen to be sold for scrap metal."

Secret Witness offers rewards ranging from $50 to $1500, but Lightfoot says that often people don't report information with cash in mind.

"Only about one in five people who call us actually call back to claim a reward. Most of the people who call us use our organization as a way to report suspects and crimes but want to remain anonymous and that anonymity is something that appeals to a lot of people."

The Secret Witness program has been around for more than 30 years and 35 murder investigations have been solved using tips given to the organization.