By John Cuoco
January 29, 2010
ROBINSON – In an attempt to locate stolen property and put thieves in jail, the Robinson Police Department has turned to a computer program called LeadsOnline.
LeadsOnline is an online investigation system that gives law enforcement access to transactions from millions of businesses like scrap metal processors, secondhand stores, Internet drop-off stores, and pawnshops across the country, as well as information from eBay listings for criminal investigations.
"We can access the database, enter the information, the serial number and within one or two seconds it pops up," Lt. Jeff Lewellen, Robinson police, said.
Robinson tax payers didn't spend any money for the LeadsOnline program, because the $1,100 price tag was paid from restitution funds held by the police department.
This means, money previously awarded by district and federal courts to the Robinson Police Department as a result of recovered cash or property owned by criminals was used.
"We used the money from bad guys, to catch the bad guys," Robinson Chief Rusty Smith said.
Police say it should also cut down on time that was previously wasted by going to individual shops, looking at single data books, or requesting help from other departments like the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.
The program was used for the first time on Friday to help locate some stolen jewelry.
It is important for citizens to write down the serial numbers on property they don't want stolen because the program uses those to search the database.
The Robinson Police Department ask that citizens call them any time something is stolen. Reports can be made by calling (254) 662-0525.