Crime Stoppers touted as 'safe way' to pass cops information

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Peter D'Agostino's grieving widow, Mary Mapes, joined Oak Park police Friday in urging anyone with information regarding her husband's slaying to contact them with any information about the crime.

As for anyone uncomfortable calling and speaking with the police, Mapes said the Cook County Crime Stoppers is an excellent alternative.

"Crime Stoppers has been excellent," she added, saying she was impressed with what was basically a small non-profit, run with a "very limited staff." Still, people can call the organization 24 hours a day, any day, at 1-800-535-STOP with information about the D'Agostino killing.

"Please emphasize that all tips will be anonymous," Mapes said. "No one will ever know who gave that tip. There should be no fear in sharing information."

A branch of Illinois Crime Stoppers, the group works with law enforcement agencies throughout the county, as well as the State Police and the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.

According to its web site at, Crime Stoppers "brings together citizens, law enforcement agencies, businesses and the media to fight felony-level crime."

The group will forward all information to the appropriate law enforcement agency for action. The website states that Crime Stoppers has "helped federal, state and local law enforcement agencies recover over $23 million in property and illegal narcotics" since its creation in 1986.

Among the categories of crime the group has helped fight is illegal gun possession and use, domestic violence, fraud, illegal drug and gang activity, auto theft, campus violence and felony-level animal abuse, in addition to murder.

?#34;Bill Dwyer

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