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Crimeline officials assure public of tipster anonymity amid concerns

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Despite hundreds of tips, law enforcement officials have not been able to find a man accused of shooting and killing an Orlando police master sergeant on Monday.

The Crimeline reward for the capture of Markeith Loyd is up to $100,000, making the amount one of the highest ever offered in Central Florida.

"Our concern right now in this community, so that you or I, our family, anybody, is not hurt by him, is to capture him. This isn't about $100,000. That's just a number. We need to capture Markeith Loyd," Crimeline executive director Barb Bergin said.

More than 550 tips have been called in to Crimeline since Monday morning, directly connected to Loyd and the killing of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton.

Officials said that compares to an average of 1,000 tips per month.

The Crimeline system is set up to protect the tipster from being identified or called later to testify in court.

"We've been in business 40 years, and I would challenge anybody to find a case where we've identified the tipster," Bergin said.

Bergin said she believes it's the second highest reward ever offered in Central Florida.

Bergin said the tips range from Loyd's whereabouts to information on those who might be helping him hide from authorities.

"If you're helping him, we're coming after you too, and if you think people aren't going to call about you, you're wrong. Because people are going to call about those who are harboring Markeith Loyd," Bergin said.

Some people worry about the Crimeline tips’ anonymity.

Bergin said she wants the public to know that tipsters are protected.

"You could be standing next to me on your cellphone, calling it in, and I wouldn't know if you were there or in Australia," Bergin said.

Bergin said Crimeline’s phones do not record or have caller ID.

If a tipster qualifies for the reward, Bergin said that person is told to call back, and when they do, they are given a payout code.

"We give them a bank that they go to. There's no signature, no ID needed. You'll get cash and you're done," Bergin said.

Crimeline works with several bank branches in Central Florida.

In order to get the reward, the tipster must call Crimeline and not 911.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Loyd is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).