July 9, 2014
Officers say they were able to recover most of the $40,000 worth of stolen property thanks to the technology.
The following is a full release from the South Bend Police Department:
On 06/02/2014 The South Bend Police Department was alerted to a residential burglary in our city. The suspect(s) had broken in and stolen over $40,000 worth of musical equipment from the home while the resident was out of town. The victim had specific detail pertaining to the stolen property and area pawn shops were checked with no avail.
Several days after the incident South Bend Police Burglary Unit Detective Kelly Waite was utilizing an online tool called LeadsOnline to check pawn activity outside of The City of South Bend that may be related to this particular burglary and others the South Bend Police Department Burglary Unit is assigned to investigate. While searching pawn data across the country Detective Waite found a transaction in a Chicago, IL secondhand store. The items sold were consistent with some of the stolen property from this residential burglary, the transaction occurred within weeks of the residential burglary being investigated and the person making the sale had ties to the South Bend, IN area.
Detective Waite further investigated this sale, traveled to Chicago, IL for follow up and determined that the property sold at this Chicago, IL second hand store was indeed some of the property stolen from the South bend, IN residence during the 06/02/2014 residential burglary.
The person making the initial transaction was located and information was gathered that lead to most of the remaining property being recovered still in South Bend, IN. The case investigation is continuing and further leads are being followed. LeadsOnline, and the focused investigative effort by Detective Waite, are being credited with this positive outcome to a residential burglary that without them would have still been unsolved.
The South Bend Police Department began their use of LeadsOnline in September of 2013. Local secondhand stores and precious metal dealers have been utilizing the LeadsOnline service to document their daily transactions since the start of 2014. Stores like Ozark's Trading Post have publicly given praise to LeadsOnline stating the service is free and easy to use for the merchants. Since beginning its use of LeadsOnline The South Bend Police Department has located dozens of stolen items such as cell phones, laptop computers, game systems, bicycles and electronic devices locally. LeadsOnline has also been credited by The South Bend Police Department Burglary Unit with recovering a stolen handgun and laptop computer in two separate cases in Texas, numerous items in Chicago, IL and locating a felony fugitive in Philadelphia, PA among several other successful uses of this tool in the short time it has been implemented.