By Jackie Ravinoff
September 22, 2010
Henry County Sheriff's Department is getting a helping hand from technology. Since July, they have had access to an online database called Leads Online. This database allows law enforcement to review items turned into pawn shops to make sure they weren't stolen. Not only does it help locate items that might be out of their normal scope of search – but it saves time.
"Looking at pawn shops going through all their records and everything its very time consuming. It can take us 2 weeks looking for once piece. Where with this we can sit at our office after we get the report in. Put the information into the computer and if something comes up they'll call us," said Henry County Investigator Steve Sanders.
"We'll use the serial number which we'll put it in the computer, put a description of the item. And the database will constantly update everyday," said Sanders.
Leads online had instant success when the sheriff's department were able to recover a gun stolen from 2004 in Tuscaloosa. Now, most pawn shops are required to record serial numbers and descriptions of items sold every day. And one pawn shop owner recently helped track down a thief.
"We were the ones that actually got his tag number, what he was driving, help locate him and get him caught," said owner of Pawn City Dothan Bill Tatum.
Leads online costs $1500 a year. And now the Henry County Sheriff's Department has more leads to other investigations. Its about solving cases and catching crooks.