Reporting crime anonymously via texts and online messages

Van Buren County is hoping to turn people’s frequent cell phone and computer use into a positive force in the community.

Citizens of Van Buren County can now send anonymous text messages and web tips to the sheriff’s office through a service called “Tip-Soft.” By sending a message to the recipient “crimes,” with the keyword “VBC” from a cell phone, individuals can text tips and report crime to officials.

A similar service is available online through the sheriff’s office website. Any tip the office receives involving local police jurisdiction will be passed along to the specific agency it concerns.

Tip givers are assigned a unique online I.D. that hides their numbers and computer addresses from the department and assures users’ anonymity.

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