ONE POLICE PLAZA — Criminals who stash their illegal guns on Staten Island for easy access before crimes are in the crosshairs of Staten Island prosecutors and the NYPD.
District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced Wednesday a crime-fighting strategy “Cash for Stash,” which will offer tipsters $200 for information leading to recovery of a gun.
Under the program, people with knowledge of a hidden gun can call 1-866-GUN-STOP (486-7867), where they’ll receive a code word and identifying number. If the weapon is recovered, the tipster gets the reward.
“They’re hidden in garbage cans, hidden in mailboxes, tossed under bushes, stowed away in abandoned vehicles, left in abandoned houses, and they provide criminals with quick access to deadly firepower,” Donovan said at a press conference at One Police Plaza.
“We need to eliminate illegal handguns that continue to put innocent citizens in the crosshairs of serious injury and death."
Kelly said that even though murders are down 33 percent and shootings are down 25 percent this year, criminals are becoming more creative in hiding their weapons — making a strategy like “Cash for Stash” increasingly important.
Kelly added that the guns can be used by multiple criminals, further complicating solving crimes.
“The so called ‘community gun’ remains a concern to all of us,” he said.