Section 10A: Rating organization; toll free tip line for reporting suspected motor vehicle theft; rewards for information
Section 10A. (a) An automobile insurance rating organization licensed under the provisions of section eight is hereby authorized to create a statewide toll free tip line for reporting information on stolen cars and suspected auto theft activities to the state police and the governor's auto theft strike force. Said line shall be manned between eight ante meridian and five post meridian, Mondays through Fridays, and shall utilize a message recording device at all other times.
(b) Information shall be directed by the state police in conjunction with the governor's auto theft strike force to the appropriate local law enforcement agency, which shall investigate auto theft activities based on such information. The results of the investigation shall be submitted to the governor's auto theft strike force in a timely manner.
(c) If the investigation made pursuant to paragraph (b) leads to an arrest or arrests and prosecution of persons involved in auto theft or related violations of law, such information which leads to the arrest and prosecution shall be reviewed by a reward committee. Such reward committee shall be created by the governor's auto theft strike force subject to the approval of the secretary of public safety and shall include representatives of local law enforcement agencies, the state police, the registry of motor vehicles and insurance companies writing automobile policies in the commonwealth.
(d) The governor's auto theft strike force shall, after approval of the reward committee, reward information with:
(1) up to one thousand dollars for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of suspected individual car thieves;
(2) up to one thousand dollars for the issuance of a warrant for suspected car theft ring members or chop shop operators;
(3) up to five thousand dollars for the arrest and binding over for trial of suspected car theft ring members or chop shop operators;
(4) up to ten thousand dollars for the conviction of car theft ring members or chop shop operators.
(e) In all cases, the methods for receiving and processing tips shall protect the identity of informants.
(f) The governor's auto theft strike force shall contract for an advertising and public relations campaign, including public service announcements, to publicize the existence of this program.
(g) All expenses and rewards incurred by said program shall be paid by the automobile insurance rating organization.