Maryland National Bank has joined with Metro Crime Stoppers by agreeing to distribute 25,000 "Stop Thief" stickers at its 230 branches.
The "Stop Thief" stickers, suitable for homes or cars, put thieves on notice that Metro Crime Stoppers can pay up to $1,000 to someone who reports them for breaking in, says Sgt. Jack Kincaid, a city police spokesman.
"It's just a way of telling the criminal that we've had enough, this has got to stop, that crime doesn't pay, but Metro Crime Stoppers does pay," says Robert Pivec, chairman of the anti-crime organization's fund-raising committee.
"We're trying to get the word out that someone's always watching, someone's always listening."
Metro Crime Stoppers offers up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals. It is operated by local business people, with donations and funds obtained through fund-raisers.
The organization is having financial difficulties because it is giving a lot of rewards.
"We've been so successful this year that we've had to pay a lot of money out, and we're almost down to the bottom of the barrel," Mr. Pivec says.
As a result, fund-raising efforts have intensified. Last year, Metro Crime Stoppers raised $36,000.
"That was all we had to raise," Mr. Pivec says. "We've probably raised as much money this quarter as we did all last year. We need to raise $100,000 to be sure that we're going to be covered, and we hope to do it with this 'Stop Thief' sticker campaign." The stickers can be purchased elsewhere for $1.50.
Maryland National Bank has taken a special interest in the campaign after Metro Crime Stoppers helped solve four robberies at its branches.
Bank officials say the program also helped bring about an arrest in the slaying of one of its employees, Phyllis Hornfeck, who was shot in her van July 11 in the parking lot of the branch in the 500 block of N. Franklintown Road.
Citizens with information on fugitives or criminal activity can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 276-8888 or toll free at 1-800-281-6666. Callers do not have to provide their name or phone number.