Published: May 04, 2013 6:54 PM EDT
Updated: May 04, 2013 6:55 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - During the 32nd annual training conference for the Southeastern Association of Crime Stoppers in North Carolina this week, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers was honored as the most productive Crime Stoppers program in the Southeast U.S. 

In 2012, anonymous tips provided to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers led to 732 arrests, 1,628 cases cleared, $1,136,957 in drugs and property seized and the payout of $165,938 in rewards for that information.  In addition, Southwest Florida's program earned the "Premier Management" award for its early summer mass mailing of fliers to every household in the 33916 zip code, listing the names of individuals murdered in the City of Fort Myers, tagged with a plea for information on those responsible for those violent deaths. 

Trish Routte was also honored as the Coordinator of the Year for the Southeastern association.  Both Routte and Crime Stoppers Board President Paul Atkinson were on hand to accept the awards.

"These awards are a testament that the Crime Stoppers program works, and that the partnerships with both the media, law enforcement and, most importantly, the community, work," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "The volume of tips we receive shows that people in Southwest Florida want to remove the criminal element from their neighborhoods so that we can all live in a safe community.  The success of our program is also the direct result of law enforcement's quick attention and investigation of anonymous tips."

Anyone with information on any unsolved crime or wanted fugitive is asked to call Crime Stoppers 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.