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The Neshoba Democrat

System to track pawn transactions

By Debbie Burt Myers, Managing Editor

June 16, 2010

A system which tracks transactions made at pawnshops and to scrap metal dealers, among others, is now being utilized by the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department after the Board of Supervisors approved the annual access fee last week.

Sheriff's investigators solved two burglaries which occurred here in 2009 while utilizing a free trial version of LeadsOnline in recent weeks.

"We found where a generator, cordless drill and rings stolen in a burglary here in May 2009 had been pawned in Jackson and some jewelry taken in a July 2009 burglary was pawned in Meridian," Investigator Ralph Sciple said.

Arrest warrants have been issued in both cases, he said.

LeadsOnline is the nation's largest online investigative system used by law enforcement to solve crimes ranging from burglary and identity theft, to homicide and narcotics, Sciple said.

"You can put in a name and it will tell you everything they have pawned, nationwide," he said, noting that most items stolen here are pawned in Jackson and Meridian.

There is an annual access fee of $1,308, which the board approved last week at the recommendation of the sheriff.

A Mississippi House bill which passed in 2008 requires scrap metal dealers to register and record transactions electronically.

LeadOnline connects investigators directly with transaction information from the recyclers to solve these crimes, Sciple said.

Kemper and Lauderdale counties along with Jackson Police Department currently utilize LeadsOnline, he said.

Sciple said area pawnshop owners have agreed to utilize the system by entering their transactions at no cost as have many in Jackson and Meridian, among others.

The sheriff's department will use the online service without a need to purchase additional computers, Sheriff Donnie Adkins said.

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