Secret Witness program designed to catch criminals with public rewards

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Police are still looking for two suspects wanted in a recent robbery and double homicide that happened at First Reliable medical marijuana collective.

The Secret Witness program is offering up to $10,000 in reward money for information that leads to arrests of suspects, Aaron Patrick Burris and an unidentified female seen in a surveillance photo.

The Secret Witness program is designed to protect the anonymity of a caller but to gain valuable information that leads to a conviction.

The funds for rewards come from donations, and not all callers are entitled to the cash reward.

In the last two years, two rewards have been given, one from Bakersfield police and the other from the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

"The information we need is information to help locate suspects who we want to arrest or to help identify suspects who we don't know did a crime, and that information needs to be used for a successful conviction," said Cmdr. Tyson Davis with the sheriff's office.

Davis, who is the president of Secret Witness, said, "We do get a lot of tips, but a lot of times the tips don't have enough information to actually get a conviction."

The amount of reward money is determined by the Secret Witness Board of Directors based on the severity of the crime. The board is made up of a president, vice president and eight board members - four from local law enforcement and four from the community.

The Secret Witness hotline - (661) 322-4040 - is available at all times, and information is gathered and sent to the particular agency handling the case.