01/07/2014 04:57 EST | Updated 03/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Crime Stoppers tips led to 132 Toronto arrests last year

Toronto police made scores of arrests last year as a result of key information they received from Crime Stoppers.

Deputy Chief Mark Saunders told reporters Tuesday that police received some 9,000 tips last year from Crime Stoppers, which led to 132 arrests and 473 charges being laid.

"This year was a fantastic year," Saunders said.

Some of those arrests included two alleged bank robbers whom police had previously struggled to identify, as well as a suspected animal abuser.

The 30-year-old Crime Stoppers program allows members of the public to pass on information to police anonymously.

It also provides a cash incentive for co-operation, in which tipsters can be paid up to $2,000 if their tip leads to an arrest.

Tipsters are given a secret code number, which those providing the information can use to claim a future reward.

Saunders said that the Crime Stoppers concept was started by a Canadian-born police officer working on a homicide investigation in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1976.

The officer was out of leads and made a public appeal for information, which included a re-enactment of the crime that was broadcast on TV.

That effort led to tips coming in, arrests being made and the start of an idea that became Crime Stoppers.

"He realized that he was on to something good and so did the law enforcement agencies," Saunders said.

Saunders said there are hundreds of communities today that operate Crime Stoppers programs.