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Police Working On Pawn Shop Ordinance

By Melissa Schroeder

May 18, 2010

CORPUS CHRISTI – Corpus Christi Police are cracking down on thieves who steal valuable items and try to sell them at pawn shops.

The City Council will soon consider an ordinance that makes tracking down these criminals a bit easier.

In the past year and a half, Corpus Christi Police recovered more than half a million dollars of stolen items from pawn shops thanks to a program called LeadsOnline.

Here's how it works: instead of pawn shop owners writing out transactions on tickets, which police then have to go through by hand, the owner types everything into a database called LeadsOnline.

Once someone reports a stolen item, police go into the database, punch in a serial number of the item stolen or the suspect's name.

Rosemary Sifuentes, with CCPD says, "Then, within seconds we have everything that person has sold."

Problem is, of the 25 pawn shops in the city, only about half are linked into the program.

So, the police department is working on an ordinance that would require all pawn shops to go online.

The General Manager of Gold and Things says he didn't hear about this yet, but wouldn't have a problem signing up for the free program.

David Larkin said, "We have a very good working relationship with the city police department and we'd have no problem with that whatsoever."

Larkin says LeadsOnline would be beneficial because the more police can crack down on shady "pawners", the better their bottom line will be.

He said, "What people don't realize is the only person that loses in this deal is the pawn shop because the bad guy got his money and the people get their stuff back and we're out everything."

The Police Department says two of the pawn shops in the city don't have computers right now so that means the LeadsOnline program would be an extra expense for them.

We tried to talk to one of those businesses at Waco Pawn Shop but the owner said he had no comment.

We also stopped in at the other pawn shop on that list, PC Money Express, and we were told the owner would be back tomorrow.

The police chief is expected to review the proposed ordinance and sign off on it.

Then, the city's legal team will look it over before it's read before the City Council.

After the second reading, City Council will take a vote on whether or not to pass it.

The police department hopes this all can happen in the next few months.

For more information on LeadsOnline call (800) 311-2656

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