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Pierce Township Police to Track Stolen Items Online

By John Seney

September 27, 2010

Pierce Township officials have contracted with an online company that helps solve crimes by allowing police agencies to check for stolen goods at pawn shops, scrap metal dealers and other businesses.

Trustees Sept. 14 approved the service for a six-month period.

Police Chief James Smith said the service would save money by not having to send detectives around to stores to check for stolen items.

The service -www.leadsonline.com - allows businesses to report items for free. Police agencies that subscribe to the service can then check for items reported stolen.

"It's a nationwide service," Smith said. "They saw a niche and filled it."

According to the leadsonline website, 1,300 law enforcement agencies nationwide use the service.

Trustee Christopher Knoop asked if the information can be viewed by the public.

Smith said the lists of items and sellers are not open to the public.

"It can be excluded from the public record during a criminal investigation," he said.

The trustees authorized Smith to renew the contract after six months if he found it beneficial.

"It's a way of working smarter, not harder," Smith said.

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