On May 19, 2014 Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue as well as the Sioux Falls Police Department responded to a suspicious fire at 111 N Cleveland Ave. Based on the investigation it is believed that an unknown subject(s) intentionally started a fire in the first floor hallway causing extensive damage to the building. SFPD CC# 14-32468.

First-arriving units reported a three-story apartment building with light smoke showing from the north side of the structure. Inside crews found heavy fire involvement in the first floor hallway. The fire was under control in 15 minutes.

The residents exited the structure after hearing the smoke and fire alarms activating. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries. The Red Cross responded to the scene and set up a shelter for all residents for the night.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue responded with 3 support vehicles, 6 fire trucks, and 27 firefighters. The apartment building did not have a building sprinkler system. The fire is suspicious and currently under investigation by fire and arson investigators. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue would like to remind residents to check for working smoke detectors and to change batteries annually.

If you have any information about these crime(s) or any person(s) involved, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at or submit a web tip. You do not have to give your name. CRIME STOPPERS will pay a cash reward of up to $1000 and you can remain anonymous.

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How Crimestoppers Works

Put simply it is a three part approach to solving the crime problem. Crime Stoppers relies on cooperation between the police, the media, and the general community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals.

The Phone Call

Calls are answered by a national Crime Stoppers answering service. Their employees are trained to ask specific questions that might otherwise be forgotten by a tipster. This answering service does not have the ability to provide caller ID, and conversations are not recorded. Our local Crime Stoppers police Coordinator receives the information very quickly, then passes the information to an investigating officer. Calls are accepted regarding any publicized request for information, such as "Crime of the Week" or such other crime(s) the caller has knowledge of.

By guaranteeing a caller`s anonymity Crime Stoppers allows the caller to give information in a positive atmosphere without the prospect of retribution. By offering cash rewards for information leading to indictment or arrests, the program encourages otherwise reluctant callers to provide information.

The Online WebTip

Tipsters now have the option of giving us tips online. The process is completely secure and anonymous and is a very effective and efficient means of safely communicating with us in today's world. Our WebTip process is powered by the world's leading online tip solution provider, Anderson Software.

The very unique integrated Two-Way Dialog capabilties allow the tipster to come back and provide additional information to their tip at any time, but also provides a secure means for the coordinator to ask questions or provide reward information back to the tipster through the same secure and encrypted interface.

The Text Message Tip

Our latest technological addition is the ability to text message tips in a totally secure and anonymous system. The messages actually go through servers out of the United States that drop the caller's ID in a way that can't be retrieved. Two way dialog at nearly realtime is also possible. Photos can also be sent.

To send a tip via text messaging start your message with "TIP635", and then the tip information. Send this to"CRIMES"(or 274637). Starting the message with "TIP635" is necessary the first time a tip is sent. It tells the system to send the tip to our local Crime Stoppers program. After one text has been sent, the system will recognize the phone and automatically send it to our program without needing to enter"TIP635".

Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers

Crime Stopper Programs are organized as a not for profit organization (Charity). A civilian community board of directors provides direction as to the financial and promotional activities of the program. The board of directors enhances the community involvement aspect, and its function is vital to the programs success.

The Crime Stoppers program is funded by private donations and fund raising. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved. The reward money paid out by the program is from the fund raising and donations from concerned citizens and businesses.

A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid, up to $1,000. Rewards are then distributed in an anonymous manner to the callers. Callers are eligible for rewards up to $1,000, but, despite this, many callers choose not to collect their rewards.

Does Crime Stoppers Work?

The answer is quite simply yes. Since the start of Crime Stoppers, many calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offenses.

The success of a Crime Stoppers program cannot be purely judged on statistics, however, other benefits have come to notice:

  • A greater awareness in the community that there is a crime problem.
  • A willingness by the community to fight back against crime if it is given the opportunity and motivation.
  • Improved relationships between police, media, and the community.

Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by police as a valid and effective investigative tool and the public, through its overwhelming response, appears to have accepted it as a more palatable alternative to traditional methods of giving information.

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