SOUTHWEST FLORIDA- Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers apprehended hundreds of wanted criminals, closed more than 1,600 cases and seized more than $1,000,000 worth of drugs, weapons and stolen property in 2013.

Since January 1 of this year, anonymous tips to the Crime Stoppers hotline have led to the arrests of 696 wanted criminals, who, in total, were charged with 1,619 different crimes. Additionally, tip information led to the recovery of $167,901 worth of stolen property and the seizure of $879,272 in illegal narcotics. For that information, Crime Stoppers paid out $144,270 in reward money.

In the past year, James Pierce was arrested for allegedly robbing the Dunkin' Donuts in South Fort Myers; Keith Jones was arrested for the 5/3 Bank robbery in September; and John Cross was arrested for holding up Wells Fargo Bank in late August. Trevlis Jiles was arrested by Fort Myers Police within an hour of receiving a tip that Jiles was reportedly involved with a home invasion robbery over the summer.

SWFL Crime Stoppers has been in existence since 1981. Funding from Crime Stoppers comes from criminals, not taxpayers. Criminals are assessed a fine by the Clerk of Courts, and a portion of that money comes back to Crime Stoppers in the form of a grant, which pays for the rewards and operation of the program.

The Crime Stoppers hotline number is 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) and is open 24 hours a day. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.