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The Cypress Times

Houston PD Solves Crime – Fast – With Online Tool

Database Helps Deputies Recover Stolen Items

August 11, 2010

Detectives at the Houston Police Department are having all kinds of success solving property crime using an online service called LeadsOnline that helps police track and recover stolen property --- no matter where in the country it was stolen or sold. One of the biggest advantages of LeadsOnline is how fast it works (just seconds) and how it is freeing up detectives to solve other crimes. LeadsOnline helps police close cases faster and return stolen property to its rightful owner. Pawn shops all around the Houston area and across the country use LeadsOnline to work with police.

LeadsOnline and Houston PD Success Stories

July 2010: A detective in the Burglary of Motor Vehicles department routinely runs stolen items through LeadsOnline. When he gets a hit, he works up a profile and passes it on to the Tactical Unit for follow up. Recently, as a result of this process Houston PD was able to make an arrest and charge a suspect for felony theft totaling approximately $1.8 million dollars.

July 2010: A burglary-in-progress call was dispatched to patrol officers in the north Houston area. A short while later, with the combined efforts of a concerned citizen and the area patrol officers, the suspects were apprehended. Evidence of the residential burglary was found in their possession and both were charged with the burglary. These same suspects had been conducting burglaries in the area all morning and the vehicle they were driving had been listed in several burglaries before. A detective on the case returned to his office and pulled up a LeadsOnline printout of the pawn history of each suspect. In the LeadsOnline pawn history it showed that one of the suspects had pawned three guitars on April 23, 2010. Upon questioning the suspect about the guitars, he confessed to the burglaries of the residence from where these guitars were stolen. Detectives were also able to recover other items belonging to the complainant under the same pawn ticket.

June 2010: After a burglary of habitation, detectives were at a dead end with no witnesses and no evidence in the case. The one item that the complainant had any information about was a very expensive carbon fiber Specialized road bike. The complainant was crushed about this bike being taken. Detectives ran the serial number for the bike and came back with a hit. The bike was pawned the same day about 30-45 minutes after the theft and it was located three miles from the complainant's residence. The suspect was identified by the pawn shop.

May 2010: A felony theft case was brought back for a follow-up investigation. The complainant had advised detectives that her stolen property stolen was stolen by her sister, and that her sister pawned the stolen property at a local pawn shop. The suspect's name was run through the LeadsOnline pawn shop search and detectives were able to locate exactly where the suspect had pawned the complainant's property. Detectives contacted the pawn shops and were advised that the property that suspect had pawned was still at the pawn shops. The stolen property was placed on police hold. A whopping 676 DVD movies, a plasma television, and a laptop computer were all recovered.

April 2010: A PetSmart manager who was caught stealing from the company. During the investigation, it was determined that the suspect was selling items on eBay. Through the LeadsOnline and eBay partnership, detectives were able to access the suspect's e-bay account and determined the user name was registered to the suspect. Detectives then investigated the suspect's seller history on eBay and determined he had stolen more than $7,000 from PetSmart. A total of $1,059.16 was recovered in merchandise and gift cards. The eBay information detectives obtained off LeadsOnline served as a tool during the interview to get a confession from the suspect. This investigation lead to Felony theft charges being filed on the suspect.

April 2010: A theft of an Olympus camera that was reported on April 11, 2010 at 12 noon. The item was pawned at a pawnshop less than a mile from the theft location within 1.5 hours of the theft.

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