Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 9, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Text, Tip, Arrest.
Wakefield Police Praise Anonymous Tipster Whose Vigilance Helped Capture Wanted Suspect with Arrest Warrants Out of Two Separate Courts
Wakefield Police Chief Rick Smith, on behalf of the entire Wakefield Police Department, today praised the vigilance and bravery of an anonymous tipster who helped lead police to a wanted suspect with two arrest warrants out of two separate courts.
“This is exactly why we offer multiple methods of reporting crimes and sending tips to police,” Chief Smith said. “A wanted criminal is off the streets today because someone had information and chose to do the right thing.”
Earlier this week, police received the anonymous tip through the department’s text message tip service. Investigating, police went to the home of the parents of John Spencer, age 23, on Chestnut Street. There, an officer was greeted by Spencer and his father. The suspect admitted to police that he was aware that there he had warrants, and he arrested without incident.
Spencer was wanted out of Malden District Court for vandalism, and Lawrence District Court for malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
The arrest showed the effectiveness of accepting crime tips via text message. The text-a-tip line isn’t intended for emergencies but proved for situations just like this, where someone has information about a crime or a wanted criminal and wants to come forward without having fear that their identity will be revealed.
Launched earlier this year, anyone with a cell phone can now send an anonymous tip to the Wakefield Police Department by texting the word WakefieldPD and the tip information to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous Web tips can also be submitted right from the Police Department’s website at wakefieldpd.org.