April 9, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – A recent string of bike thefts proves the new second-hand dealer ordinance is working, said Madison police.
Beginning Feb. 1, the city started requiring all second-hand stores to enter information about their purchases from the public into an online database called Leads Online.
Madison police belong to this database and use it to help track and stop theft.
The site recently helped recover a $450 Trek Bike that was lifted off a Gorham Street porch and sold at second-hand shop Pawn America.
"We were able to input the information from one crime, by way of that suspect's name, and determine what other merchandise that individual had pawned within the city," said Madison Police Officer Howard Payne.
Leads Online led to the arrest of Kevin Barker, 52, which police said may not have happened without the new ordinance, and their old paper record system.
"There were major lag times in terms of when that information would actually be reviewed (and) when that information would be put into the computer system," Payne said.
Leads Online gets cases solved sooner, and protects businesses and customers, Payne said.
Leads Online can be accessed by law enforcement nationwide. If items are stolen locally and sold elsewhere, there's a better chance they can be recovered.