Thwarted school bomb plot shows importance of tips | News
Tampa, Florida -- No one wants to imagine what could have happened next week at Freedom High School, had it not been for one tip.
Tampa Police are not saying how the tip came in or who made them aware of the plan 17-year-old Jared Cano allegedly conspired for the school that expelled him for an off campus incident.
Photo Gallery: Pictures of Jared Cano
School Resource Officers within the Hillsborough County School system are hoping this thwarted plan to allegedly set off pipe bombs throughout the school shows how important it is to step up if you know something is about to happen, or even if you're just suspicion.
In 1998, all of Hillsborough County's middle and high schools teamed up with Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay to encourage students to report illegal activity without the fear of retaliation.
Students can call the Crime Stoppers tipline at 1-800-873-TIPS to report a crime or incidents of bullying. They can also send a text, by texting : CSTB "plus their message" to CRIMES or 264637. Students can also send a tip online.
Deputy Robert Marsh, a school resource officer at Armwood High School says the tip-line is an important tool for students.
"There's been several instances where we've been able to lock down our gates when we thought there might be a gang fight or tips that someone might be coming up to our school, so we've
been able to check the perimeter and make sure. I've been able to avoid problems at Armwood High School for one... I know other schools, deputies have been able to do the same," said Deputy Brush.
To date, Crime Stoppers has awarded more than $19,500 to students for their tips that led to the arrests of 645 people in 839 criminal cases. Student tips have also led to the recovery of more than $95,500 worth of property and narcotics. Multiple weapons have also been recovered: 129 knives, 11 fire arms and 31 other weapons.