Crime Stoppers asking for GUN250 tips in efforts of lowering Richmond gun violence

Crime Stoppers is calling attention to its GUN250 program, an effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Crime Stoppers is calling attention to its GUN250 program, an effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

The Richmond Police Department is asking for more tips to reduce gun violence in the city. Neighbors can anonymously call in or fill out an online report of an illegal gun and receive a cash reward of up to $ 1,000.

GUN250 offers cash in exchange for guns, but it is not necessarily a buyback. It’s a tip program that officers say is needed now more than ever.

“It’s a great way for the community to give back and help prevent violence in the streets and safeguard their communities that they live in,” Detective Derick Longoria said.

So far this year, there has been a 19% increase in firearms stolen from vehicles compared to last year. Detective Derick Longoria says they know those stolen guns are being used illegally in violent crimes.

“If somebody is going to break into a car and steal a gun, then they’re going to take that gun and go use it in either a homicide or robbery or pointed at some random citizen walking down the street as they’re driving by and it scares people,” Longoria said.

Longoria says illegal guns are ones used in crimes. He says they want to get them off the street to prevent more crime in the city, which is why they are pushing for people to submit tips to GUN250.

The information goes to Crime Stoppers, not the police. You cannot get in trouble for submitting a tip, as none of it will be traced back to you. Call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or visit the P3 website at

When calling the phone number, you will be assigned a code number. Your name and personal information are unnecessary, and you can still get your cash if your tip leads to a gun seizure or arrest. RPD emphasizes you do not have to interact with police in the process, as phone calls to Crime Stoppers are not recorded or monitored. Longoria says Caller ID isn’t used either.

“It comes in like a text message form like when you go to Panera Bread, and you sign up for the rewards, and it’s got this random four-digit number,” he said. “That’s how it’s going to come back to you as a random four-digit number, saying hey, please provide more information to your tip or check the portal your tip has been approved.”

When the program started in 2016, it offered up to $250 in rewards for tips that led to finding firearms possessed illegally and the arrest of the owner. In 2020, the prize was increased to $ 1,000 to incentivize more people to help.

Since the program launched, Crime Stoppers has received around 590 tips and given out more than $580,000 in rewards to the public.

“We do what we call a reward calculator. And that breaks it down to how much money you will receive for that tip depending on the violent action from that tip,” Longoria said. “So up to $1,000 is going to be like a homicide or guns used in homicides and things of that nature. So, you’re gonna more than likely get that $1,000 tip.”