|The want ad appears in the weekly paper, The Alibi
The Albuquerque Police Department is taking a novel approach to finding informants: Placing want ads in the newspaper.
The advertisement, which is running in the current Alibi newspaper, seeks criminals willing to snitch on other criminals.
The ad says, "Wanted: People who hang out with crooks to do part time work for APD. Make some extra cash. Drug use and criminal record OK."
When you call the phone number in the ad, you get a message saying, "You've reached the Albuquerque repeat offender project. If you're responding to the advertisement in the newspaper, leave your name and a good phone number, and we'll call you back as soon as we can."
Capt. Joe Hudson with the APD Special Investigation unit said people are responding to the ad.
"We had 16 calls yesterday. Last count today, we had 15," Hudson said.
Captain Hudson said one of the tips they got was a "big one." He wouldn't elaborate any further.
An informant who helps police arrest a drug dealer could earn $50. Someone who leads police to a murderer could pocket up to $700.
Hudson said the bounty could go a long way in the ailing economy. He said they can use information from a whole range of crimes.
"We're looking for anything from homicides all the way down to auto burglaries," he said.
If confidential informants have a warrant out for their arrest, Hudson said they can strike a plea deal with the DAs office to get them off the hook.
APD has used want ads in the past. In 1998, they received so many calls from informants, they had to turn the phone system off.