Cops catch alleged serial Glendale burglar after he pawned off stolen items at Ridgewood shop

December 3, 2018

By Mark Hallum

Selling stolen jewelry at a local pawn shop proved to be a big mistake for an alleged burglar from Glendale accused of taking loot from several area homes over the last six weeks, prosecutors said.

Stephen Schoessow, 51, of 66th Street remains locked up on $300,000 bail after being charged on Nov. 29 with burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief. Multiple victims claim that Schoessow allegedly broke into their homes, ransacked them and walked away with jewelry, cash and electronics.

According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, Schoessow allegedly broke into a home on 81st Avenue near Myrtle Avenue on Oct. 11. The residents returned home that evening to find that doors on the bottom and top floors had been broken open.

Upon further investigation, the residents determined that $1,000 in cash and $3,000 in jewelry had been removed, the complaint said.

Surveillance footage show Schoessow enter the house around 2 p.m. that day carrying a black sweatshirt and leaving 40 minutes later without it, according to prosecutors.

Schoessow is also accused of burglarizing a home on Central Avenue near 68th Place on Oct. 29. A female resident discovered that day that someone had entered her house through a window and taken three Apple tablets, three Movado watches and jewelry valued at about $3,000.

The residence on the second floor of the same location was also broken into through; a resident reported that a pair of diamond earrings, gold earrings, a gold bracelet, two cameras and a phone, all valued at more than $1,000, were missing.

Finally, prosecutors said, Schoessow was also seen on security cameras leaving a home on 60th Street near in Ridgewood on Nov. 28 with a resident’s laptop bag over his shoulder. A Kodak digital camera, laptop and phone were also taken from the residence, the criminal complaint said.

When Schoessow was searched by police at the 104th Precinct, the criminal complaint states that he was found with one diamond earring recognized by Ramon as one of the missing items.

Schoessow allegedly attempted to liquidate some of the stolen jewelry at a pawn shop called Gold and Silver Enterprises at 70-20 Fresh Pond Rd. Officers from the 104th Precinct visited the shop on Nov. 12 and found the stolen items. The pawn shop owner searched the store records and found that the items had been pawned off by Schoessow.

According to state Department of Corrections records, Schoessow had been released from a correctional facility in August for burglary and attempted burglary convictions.

Court records indicated that Schoessow must return to court on Dec. 14.

Source: https://qns.com/story/2018/12/03/cops-catch-alleged-glendale-burglar-pawned-off-stolen-items-ridgewood-shop/

Men charged with stealing gold

November 21, 2018

A pair of Bigfork men are accused of stealing more than $300,000 worth of gold bars, coins, artwork and guns from a self-storage unit then using some of the proceeds from their heist to buy a race car, trailer and other items.

Robert Earl Staudenmayer, 32, and Richard Gordon, 49, appeared at District Court in Polson on Wednesday, Nov. 14, on charges of theft and money laundering.

According to charging documents, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a break-in at a self-storage unit in the Bigfork area on June 1. The victim said he had not checked his storage unit since fall of 2017, and now, he is missing $300,000 in gold bars, coins, artwork and guns. A safe was also taken from the storage unit.

On June 21, Lake County Undersheriff Ben Woods received a call from a company called Leads Online about a stolen gun. Leads Online is a technology service that helps law enforcement reunite stolen items to their rightful owners, catch criminals and help businesses reduce the hassle of reporting.

In this case, it was owners of a pawnshop in Kalispell that used Leads Online to identify a gun that was taken from the Bigfork area storage unit. Records at the pawnshop showed that a woman by the name of Kristen Kliev pawned the gun and that Kliev pawned another gun that she later repurchased from the pawnshop.

On June 25, Woods learned that Staudenmayer had traded one of the stolen guns to a John Gabrielson for a Jeep. Gabrielson told Woods that Staudenmayer claimed to have more guns he wished to sell.

Woods’ investigation would lead to the execution of a search warrant on Kliev’s property where some of the stolen artwork was recovered. Kliev would later claim that Gordon gave her the artwork to sell along with some guns.

Another search warrant was obtained for a residence on Swan River Road where Gordon was staying. More stolen items were located there along with two vehicles that Woods would later learn were allegedly purchased with proceeds from the sale of some of the stolen items. When asked about the artwork, Gordon claimed he found them at the dump.

Gordon admitted that he sold gold to a coin collector in Kalispell for $1,907.07. He said he inherited the gold from a brother who recently passed away. Staudenmayer said that Gordon told him the gold was dug up using a treasure map. Staudenmayer admitted that he and Gordon bought a trailer in Chehalis, Washington and bought a racecar in Seattle with proceeds from the sale of the gold.

Staudenmayer is also facing a charge of robbery for using violence against a woman on Sept. 4 to obtain control over her debit card. The woman told investigators that Staudenmayer knew the card’s pin number and two unauthorized transactions were made on the card later that same day.

Staudenmayer entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

Lake County Deputy Attorney Ben Anciaux told the court that in 2005 Staudenmayer was committed to the Montana State Department of Corrections on burglary and tampering with evidence charges.

District Judge James Manley maintained bail at $100,000 for Staudenmayer and set his case for trial on April 15. Gordon’s arraignment hearing was continued to Nov. 21. He remains in the Lake County jail with bond set at $50,000. Anciaux told the court other people could be facing charges as the investigation continues.

Source: http://www.valleyjournal.net/Article/20770/Men-charged-with-stealing-gold

Primera man sought by police in connection to missing guns

November 7, 2018

By Raul Garcia

PRIMERA — Police Chief Manuel Trevino is seeking the public’s help in finding Hunter Grayson, who is wanted for questioning in connection to the loss of a homeowner’s firearms.

The Primera Police Department has an arrest warrant out for Grayson on charges of theft.

An alert by local police was sent on Monday in the effort to find him.

Trevino said Grayson, 20, a Primera resident, is still not in custody.

According to the homeowner, weapons and coins were stolen from a gun safe inside his home.

The victim advised officers that he believed one of his family members might have been the person who stole the items.

Authorities then received information through the Crime Stoppers hotline that Grayson may have pawned some of items at local pawn shops.

Police said a search of the National Pawn Shop Database revealed where some of items were located and who had pawned the victim’s items.

If anyone has any information as to Grayson’s whereabouts, they are urged to call the Primera Police Crime Stoppers at (956) 536-0776.

Source: https://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/primera-man-sought-by-police-in-connection-to-missing-guns/article_3afef8c6-e2d0-11e8-92b0-2386935d2df8.html

Omaha man pawns stolen gun connected to 1998 Seward County homicide

November 2, 2018

By Alia Conley

A gun that was stolen from a man who was killed 20 years ago recently turned up in an Omaha pawnshop.

The Seward County homicide case has long been closed. But authorities are investigating the man who pawned the gun in August at Sol’s Jewelry and Loan at 72nd and Maple Streets.

Lora McKinney is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting her off-and-on boyfriend, Harold Kuenning, at his cabin near Milford in 1998.

Prosecutors said McKinney, then 32, killed 56-year-old Kuenning because she needed money to fuel her crack cocaine addiction. McKinney was arrested five years after the slaying.

Authorities said they could not determine whether the gun found at the pawnshop was the one used in the fatal shooting. A .357-caliber Magnum handgun, which McKinney’s defense lawyer had said could have been the weapon used, was found in a Lincoln motel room where two witnesses — not McKinney — smoked crack hours after the shooting.

An Omaha ordinance that requires pawnshops to report sales to an online company led authorities to the gun. Omaha Police Officer Bill Fell received a notification that the gun’s serial number was in a national crime database as being related to the 1998 homicide case.

The blue .38 Colt Detective Special was pawned by a 55-year-old Omaha man on Aug. 26, according to an affidavit. The gun had been registered to Kuenning, who purchased it in 1979.

The Nebraska State Patrol is continuing to investigate the stolen firearm. The man who pawned it has not yet been charged.

Three guns linked to the homicide had gone missing. Authorities previously had recovered two. With the latest discovery, now all are accounted for, said Cody Thomas, a spokesman for the Nebraska State Patrol.

Source: https://www.omaha.com/news/crime/omaha-man-pawns-stolen-gun-connected-to-seward-county-homicide/article_19b2e639-a904-5ead-80fb-bd727ecc8f57.html

Will ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ face death penalty in Jackson homicide case? It’s on the table.

October 25, 2018

By Jimmie E. Gates

A federal judge has set a March 15 deadline for prosecutors to decide if they will seek the death penalty against a “Bonnie and Clyde” couple accused of killing a pawn shop owner and two employees in Jackson.

Jamison Layne Townsend, 37, a former nurse, and her boyfriend, Joshua Garcia, 39, who had done several stints in prison, are charged in both state and federal court with capital murder in the December 2016 shooting deaths of Bill Mosley, 81, Robert Ivy, 60, and Ted McLemore, 77, at Bill’s Pawn Jewelry Coin/Stamp Exchange.

Federal judge William Barbour Jr. recently filed an order that the U.S. attorney submit his recommendation to the Department of Justice on or before Dec. 17, and notify the court and the parties on or before March 15 if he intends to seek the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi hasn’t indicated yet whether his office is planning to seek the death penalty.

Last week in Hinds County Circuit Court, Judge Tomie Green granted the defense a delay in the state trial, which had been set for November. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith’s office had filed an intent to seek the death penalty.

Hinds County Assistant Public Defender Ray Charles Carter said more time was needed to prepare. No new trial date has yet been set.

The couple is also accused in burglaries at Jay Jays and JB’s Pawn Shop in Gulfport and Sam’s Jewelry & Pawn in Pascagoula, which authorities say took place prior to the slayings in Jackson.

An affidavit filed by Special Agent Tyree Koerner of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the Western District of Missouri links a weapon found in the possession of a Missouri man to one of the Coast pawn shops. The affidavit states weapons were stolen from Jay Jays.

Authorities say Townsend and Garcia brought “a majority, if not all of the firearms stolen” in that crime to the Kansas City area and allegedly sold around 20 of them to Reno Dillard, 39, of Grandview, Missouri, for between $1,200 and $1,500.

Garcia is also charged in Missouri for unlawful use of a weapon and second- degree burglary, according to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department website.

The couple was captured in December 2016 in Kansas after a nationwide alert was issued.

Garcia has been to prison six times in 18 years for offenses in Harrison County, ranging from burglary to grand larceny and armed robbery. Court records show he had lived in Byram and Vancleave at the times of his convictions. He was released on parole in 2014 and was off parole by January 2015.

Source: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/10/25/bonnie-and-clyde-may-face-death-penalty-jackson-triple-homicide/1751906002/

Construction worker stole jewelry while repairing an Irma-damaged home, cops say

October 19, 2018

By David Goodhue

A worker on a construction crew doing repairs on an Islamorada house damaged during Hurricane Irma stole the homeowner’s jewelry and sold it to two pawnshops, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office report.

Michael Joseph Gibson, 30, was arrested on a warrant Thursday on grand theft, felony fraud and misdemeanor petit theft charges. He was released on a $22,500 bond Thursday night. He could not be reached for comment.

Detective Benjamin Elmore stated in his report that Gibson stole a gold band ring from the homeowner’s jewelry box on Oct. 2 that was valued at $200 and a 14-karat gold diamond ring valued at $6,000 on Oct. 5.

Gibson and two other members of the construction crew began working on the East Carroll Street house shortly after the Category 4 Irma struck the Keys in September 2017, according to the arrest affidavit.

On the day the gold band was stolen, the homeowner told police she did not know the workers were scheduled to be at the house, which wasn’t unusual, Elmore stated in his report. She found out from her next-door neighbors that the workers were there that day. The diamond ring was stolen while the homeowner was at traffic court, Elmore stated.

Elmore contacted a Miami-Dade County detective, provided him with the names of the construction crew and asked him to check if any of them sold jewelry to any mainland pawnshops. The detective discovered that Gibson pawned the diamond ring on Oct. 6 at the South Dade Jewelry and Gun Pawn Shop on Krome Avenue in Homestead, according to Elmore’s report. The pawnshop confirmed to Elmore it had the ring.

Elmore found the gold ring at Coral Financial Jewelry, Pawn and Guns in Key Largo Wednesday. The shop’s owner put a hold on the ring when police told him it was stolen.

Source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article220303055.html

OKC Police arrest men for stealing copper wiring, causing millions of dollars in damages

October 9, 2018

By Sarah Stewart

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City police arrested three men on Monday who they say spent the summer stealing copper wiring from New Dominion oil field sites in southeast Oklahoma City.

“The three main players probably made about $30,000 over the course of the summer by stealing the copper, taking it to the metal recyclers and getting paid for what they’re taking in,” said Master Sergeant, Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

The men were taking the copper wiring to Gold Metal Recyclers in Valley Brook where they sold it for around two dollars a pound.

And police say the recycling company was instrumental in helping get the arrests.

“They had surveillance cameras set up there that assisted us and there were other things they do that the law requires them to do such as get tag numbers, identification on people, things like that,” said Msgt. Knight.

Police arrested Rodolfo Perez, 45, Cody Taber, 28 and Austin Taber, 28 on Monday.

They say the men were in the process of stripping the copper wiring at a house in southeast Oklahoma City when they were taken into custody.

A significant amount of work went in to making the arrests.

Detectives utilized LeadsOnline, a scrap metal database that lets them track selling activity.

They say Perez sold 189 items from June through September.

Cody Taber sold 81 items during that same time period.

The amount of copper wiring stolen was significant, but even worse is the amount of damage the company sustained.

Police say the damage to equipment at New Dominion oil fields because of the thefts is estimated at 12 and a half million dollars.

Police say this is an ongoing investigation and there could be more arrests.

Source: https://kfor.com/2018/10/09/okc-police-arrest-men-for-stealing-copper-wiring-causing-millions-of-dollars-in-damages/

Theft victim angered by pawn shop policy

September 28, 2018

By Leeanna Ellis

Justin Wolsmann was at a loss when he found his garage in Kennard had been rifled through.

“It was so strange. I still don’t understand it,” he said.

Wolsmann and his family were preparing for an outing on Sept. 3 when he found he had accidentally left the garage door open the night before. He noticed a cabinet door was open and some items were on the floor.

“As we started looking around, we started noticing some things were missing,” he said.

Those items included a box of cordless power tools and a new bicycle worth about $500.

Wolsmann immediately reported the theft to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. It was only then he learned there had been a string of thefts reported.

Investigators were able to track Wolsmann’s stolen bicycle through its serial number. It was located at a pawn shop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. That discovery led detectives to the stolen power tools, which Wolsmann identified, at a pawn shop in Omaha.

But when Wolsmann went to retrieve his items, he felt like he was victimized again when he was told he had to purchase the items from the pawn shops in the amount the pawn shops paid for them.

“I was totally taken aback by that,” he said. “To me, that is wrong. That’s dead wrong. They are in possession of stolen property.”

That policy is standard for pawn shops, said Paul Hamer, who has owned Blair Pawn for 11 years. Victims can ask for restitution if or when a suspect is convicted. But if a suspect isn’t caught or found not guilty, the victim is out that money.

“That should not be my burden,” Wolsmann said. “The pawn shop paid that person. The deal was made between the pawn broker and the person selling the stolen goods, not me. Those items were taken from me illegally.”

Wolsmann expressed his anger at the situation with letters to both the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and Gov. Pete Ricketts. He believes legislation should be brought forth to put the burden on the pawn shops.

“In my opinion and what I propose, they buy at their own risk,” he said. “If they buy stolen property, they should pursue the bad guy to get the money back. That’s the guy they gave the money to.”

Wolsmann believes if a pawn shop purchases stolen items, it should return those items at no cost to the victim.

Hamer understands both sides of the situation. He’s also been a victim of theft and has applied for restitution from the person convicted of the crime.

But there are regulations in place to help catch thieves, Hamer said. He tries to work with police when they make him aware of possible stolen items that could come into his store.

“There are times where I buy items just to get them back to the people because the police have tipped me off,” he said.

When a person pawns an item to a pawn shop, they must fill out documentation, including their name, address, identification and provide a fingerprint. With that information, police can pursue the suspects.

“That’s happened on occasion, too,” Hamer said. “That works toward the advantage of the (property) owner.”

LeadsOnline, a database which pawn shops across the nation use, can also help victims find their items if the serial numbers are known.

Wolsmann has purchased his tools back for $60. He’s waiting for the release to purchase his bicycle for $50 and plans to ask for restitution when the suspect is caught and convicted.

“The legal system is slow, but it seems pretty fair if you look at the entire picture,” Hamer said.

Source: http://www.enterprisepub.com/public/theft-victim-angered-by-pawn-shop-policy/article_c9596500-c2a2-11e8-a70e-837e2b599d5d.html

DeKalb pawn shop ordinance amended

September 25, 2018

By Andrew Kinge

DeKALB – Although there are not currently any pawn shops located in the city of DeKalb, two amendments affecting local pawn ordinances were on the agenda during Monday night’s regular meeting of the City Council.

Both passed unanimously and the council voted – again, unanimously – to waive a second hearing.

While no pawn shops currently exist in DeKalb, during Monday night’s meeting, a zoning map amendment was approved, allowing Dave Franzene, who owns pawn shops elsewhere in Illinois, to bring a pawn business to the property at 1786 to 1792 Sycamore Road.

One change streamlined the city’s ordinances, bringing DeKalb’s laws more closely in line with pawn ordinances throughout the state.

“These changes are simplifying our ordinances,” City Attorney Dean Frieders said, noting that, before the change, DeKalb’s laws were an anomaly among Illinois municipalities.

Secondly, any pawn shop that opens in DeKalb will be required to use LeadsOnline, a national database that law enforcement can use to find and recover stolen goods.

“What [the shops are] going to have to do is, they’re going to have to document every transaction that’s being done. So, if someone comes in to sell or pawn, [the shops are] going to document exactly what was purchased, how much it was purchased for, the serial number, they’re going to take a photograph of it and they’re going to put it on this LeadsOnline,” DeKalb police Cmdr. Bob Redel said.

For example, Redel said that if a TV was stolen and pawned, law enforcement can plug the serial number into LeadsOnline and quickly find out if the item was pawned. Then, police can recover the item and find the thief.

The database also provides accountability for businesses, helping to ensure that pawn shops aren’t accepting stolen goods in the first place.

“It’s a way of ensuring that businesses are run responsibly,” Frieders said.

Source: https://www.daily-chronicle.com/2018/09/25/dekalb-pawn-shop-ordinance-amended/a9j18g6/

Cañon City Police Department wants help from businesses to cut down on thefts

September 18, 2018

By Carie Canterbury

The Cañon City Police Department is working to not only update record keeping systems for pawnbroker-type merchants but also to cut down on local property thefts.

A proposed amended ordinance would affect businesses in Cañon City that function similar to a pawn shop and accept merchandise for purchase from a private seller.

The CCPD will host a problem-solving meeting Thursday with business owners to discuss the proposal.

“We are trying to get our hands around how to more effectively combat the property crimes that are occurring in our city,” Cañon City Police Chief Daric Harvey said. “This is a way to try and be a responsible business owner, and what we are trying to do to be a responsible police agency is to say, ‘This is the problem, community — we need some help with this, how do we fix this.'”

He said an existing ordinance addresses pawnbrokers having to report a private seller who comes to them with merchandise to pawn or sell. The pawnbroker must record the transaction, which they will still do, but it will all be done electronically.

“(The current ordinance) is somewhat antiquated in that it talks about a papered system of recording and keeping a log,” Harvey said. “There are systems out now that are electronic. One piece of this is to automate those logs so it makes it easier, nobody has to physically hand carry or pick up pawn slips or visibly inspect logs.”

The business also will take a photo of the private seller, which should be happening anyway, Harvey said, but some of the pawn shops are not doing that currently because the old system is paper-based.

“Part of the issue that we get when we go to prosecution is how do we know that it is the same person,” he said. “If we have a picture of the person doing the transaction, then for prosecution purposes it’s easier for us to go to the district attorney and say this is the person that presented this for sale.”

He said other businesses also accept property from private individuals, but they currently don’t fall under the same licensure. The revised ordinance would include them.

“Certain pieces like construction equipment or precious metals, or those types of things that are included elsewhere in the state that are reported, they are going to need to be reported here,” Harvey said.

He said clothing and furniture consignment stores and businesses that purchase items from other licensed businesses won’t be required to report the transaction, but secondhand shops, coin shops, antique dealers and junk dealers will be.

“Anybody that accepts items of significant value that is serialized or is trackable, it’s primarily going to be those things that are targeted for burglaries, for criminal trespass in vehicles, that are taken and quickly pawned,” he said. “The rule of thumb will be if you would take it to a pawn dealership and they would accept it, simply because it’s a different business and it’s the same type of a function, then that’s generally what would be required.”

The CCPD is part of the LeadsOnline system, which is an electronic pawn database, that also is used by the majority of the state.

“Shortly after we implemented that, there was a pawn shop burglary on Main Street,” Harvey said. “We were able to recover those guns because of LeadsOnline.”

He said another Main Street business also was burglarized, but because of the electronic system, stolen knives were recovered.

“This really is a mechanism for us to try and close that gap,” he said. “Thursday’s meeting is to say, ‘This is the problem that we’re dealing with, and if you are a business that this would affect, we want to hear from you.'”

LeadsOnline also has a search feature that when property is entered, it searches Amazon, Craig’s List and eBay, where some people may try to sell stolen goods.

The LeadsOnline service costs about $3,000 annually, but the CCPD picks up the tab so that business owners don’t have to bear the cost. Harvey said he will talk to business owners Thursday about any potential impediments to implementing the automated system, such as staffing and computers.

The proposed changes to the ordinance currently are not in effect, and they have not yet been presented to the city council.

“We are trying to hear from businesses about the impact,” he said. “We are trying to be more thoughtful with things that we propose to council to make sure that if there are issues, that we hear from those that the law would affect.”

The meeting will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in council chambers at John D. Havens City Hall, located at 128 Main St. Although everyone is welcome, Harvey wants to hear specifically from businesses that would be directly affected.

Depending on Thursday’s attendance, there may be a follow-up meeting. The next step, Harvey said, would be to share the feedback with his staff and the city administrator to see what revisions would need to occur. He expects to present a draft ordinance to the city council in mid-October. The ordinance would undergo two readings before it is adopted.

Source: http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/news/canoncity-local-news/ci_32147265/canon-city-police-department-wants-help-from-businesses

Cecilia man accused of stealing $1,100 chainsaw

September 5, 2018

A Cecilia man was arrested Tuesday night and charged with stealing a chainsaw and pawning it the same day in July, police say.

Kenneth Frickey, 33, is charged with theft by unlawful taking/shoplifting of more than $500 and less than $10,000 — a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison, of convicted.

Acc­or­ding to an arrest warrant, Frickey was at E’town Small Engine on July 10 looking for a part for a lawn mower and was talking to a sales associate about it.

As he neared the front door of the business, according to surveillance video, Frickey stopped by the door and can be seen looking around to see if he’s being observed before picking up a Stihl chainsaw valued at $1,176.55. The accusation is he left without paying.

The chainsaw was found at a Louisville pawn shop through LeadsOnline, a technology service that helps authorities locate stolen items. According to the warrant, the chainsaw had been pawned within hours of it being reported missing.

Frickey, who was arrested by the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $5,000 cash bond. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 14 in Hardin District Court.

Frickey also was booked on two violations for failure to appear in court, including one related to a June charge of possession of heroin.

Source: http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/news/crime_and_courts/cecilia-man-accused-of-stealing-chainsaw/article_92797998-4448-55a2-83e5-46aed9d76732.html

LeadsOnline Offers Training for Law Enforcement Aimed at Reducing Agricultural Theft

September 4, 2018

By Sarah Ulmer

Five free training sessions on the scrap metal component of LeadsOnline, an online investigative tool, will be offered this week to law enforcement in central Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta.

A trainer from LeadsOnline will conduct the sessions, organized by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office and Mississippi Delta Agricultural Theft Task Force, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on Tuesday, September 4, 2018; Moorhead and Stoneville, Mississippi, on Wednesday, September 5, 2018; and Cleveland and Clarksdale, Mississippi, on Thursday, September 6, 2018. Deputies and officers from county sheriff’s offices and police departments in areas surrounding training locations are invited to attend.

Initiated by the Secretary of State’s Office and Department of Agriculture and Commerce in April 2016, the Task Force links law enforcement, scrap metal yards, farmers, and other interested parties in order to detect stolen items early, develop leads, and successfully prosecute agricultural theft. Task Force partners include agencies and officials from four states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

“Some of the most vulnerable materials are valuable metal components, such as copper, and expensive equipment found on Mississippi farms,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “By showing law enforcement how to use LeadsOnline, we can transfer information about scrap metal and equipment purchases in the State, which can help remedy theft situations quickly for our farmers who are just trying to keep their businesses afloat and profitable.”

“I appreciate the efforts of Secretary Hosemann in making this training available to our law enforcement officials. LeadsOnline is a valuable tool that will assist the investigators with our agency’s Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau when solving certain agricultural-related crimes,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said.

More than 30,000 businesses nationwide, including scrap metal dealers, report transactions electronically via LeadsOnline. Law enforcement are then able to access transaction information to compare with reports of theft to speed up the process of catching perpetrators and recovering stolen property. The investigative tools provided by LeadsOnline for working metal theft cases are available at no cost to all law enforcement agencies in the State.

For more information about the Task Force, contact the Regulation and Enforcement Division of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office at (601) 359-9055 or ag_taskforce@sos.ms.gov.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release

Source: http://yallpolitics.com/2018/09/04/leadsonline-offers-training-for-law-enforcement-aimed-at-reducing-agricultural-theft/

Former Baylor defensive lineman arrested and charged with theft

August 31, 2018

By Micah Fleet

WACO, TX (KXXV) – Baylor football defensive lineman Micheal Johnson was arrested and charged with theft on Friday.

Baylor football dismissed Johnson from the team on Thursday.

According to the affidavit, four-game consoles were reported stolen from the Highers Athletic Complex which was believed to be taken between July 19-20. Upon further investigation, one of the consoles was taken on April 19. Another game console was taken between April 19 – July 20.

Four of the five consoles were reported on “Leads Online” and pawned by Johnson.

Johnson confessed to taking and pawning four of the five stolen consoles. The value of the game consoles admitted to be taken by Johnson totaled to $1,199.96, according to the affidavit.

He committed the offense of theft greater than $750 less than $2,500, a Class A Misdemeanor.

Bears officials released a statement on Thursday saying the junior violated team rules but did not go any further into the reasoning behind Johnson’s dismissal.

Johnson was expected to be a contributor to the Bears defensive line during the 2018 campaign. Now, with their game against Abilene Christian on Saturday, Baylor is losing depth at a position where they were already thin.

Source: http://www.newswest9.com/story/38999920/baylor-dismisses-defensive-lineman-micheal-johnson

One of widower’s two stolen heirlooms recovered at pawn shop after KCPD investigation

August 24, 2018

By Sherae Honeycutt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A young widower’s Crestwood home was broken into Aug. 17. The burglars stole jewelry, namely a wedding ring, but it wasn’t about the monetary loss. It was the memories, as the victim had recently lost his wife to cancer.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt was there when family was reunited with the precious ring.

Kevin Moore and his wife Jacque have a unique love story. He bought her an antique ring that he’s kept on his nightstand ever since she died of cancer.

Last week, he discovered it was missing along with his great-grandfather’s pocket watch. The timepiece is from the early 1900’s and was passed down to him when Jacque passed away. He only had it for a week after it was sent out to be fully restored.

He can’t believe his prized possessions are gone, and hopes someone can help him get them back.

Kevin and Jacque were together for about a decade and have countless memories that will last forever.

“We lived our lives to the fullest and just really appreciated each other,” Kevin Moore said.

The two met through a mutual friend. Moore said he knew she was special before he ever met her, but one year into their relationship everything changed. She was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, a rare cancer.

It didn’t stop Kevin from proposing with an antique ring given to her in a locket.

“She was like, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘It’s just a locket,'” Moore said. “She opened it up, and the ring was in there, and she was just shocked. She didn’t put it all together, and I was like, ‘Our family is all here, I’m surprising you, and we`re getting married in three days.'”

They had a surprise ceremony in San Diego surrounded by family. Jacque passed away in April, but Moore kept her locket and ring close. The ring wasn’t fancy, but it was special to the couple. They picked it out together, but he purchased it secretly.

“She loved it. She thought it was perfect,” Moore said. “She thought it was just what she wanted. It wasn’t a big diamond. It had a lot of character.”

At 35 years old she lost her fight with cancer in April, but on August 17, Kevin also lost her ring.

“The locket is here still. The ring was sitting in that locket on our dresser when our house was burglarized, and they left the locket and took the ring,” Moore said.

One week later, the ring is back with Jacque’s family, and soon it will be back in her locket. Her mother, Kim Curry, and brother-in-law, Paul Moore, picked it up from National Pawn on Truman Road.

“It’s a piece of our daughter, even though I won’t keep possession of it — it’s Kevin`s ring — but it’s still a piece of our daughter, and to have someone go in and take it was just unheard of, but it’s back,” Curry said.

KCPD Det. Rob Martin found the owners by Googling the name on her St. Theresa class ring, an item they didn’t realize was stolen until later and pawned with her wedding ring.

“It ended up coming back with her obituary, and through that I was able to contact Kevin and find out that he was the victim, and those rings were stolen,” Martin said.

The pawn shop paid $100 for both the rings. The business is out that money but happy to see it back with Jacque’s family.

“It means a lot. It’s so good that it can go back to the original owners and especially in a situation like this,” said Marti Russell, co-owner of National Pawn.

“To really have a case that means something to you, and you get something back, and really make a difference,” Martin said. “It’s nice to have those every once in a while just to reaffirm why we do what we do.”

“He went over and beyond the call of duty,” Curry said. “We thank them, him, immensely.”

Kevin Moore learned the good news while traveling in San Diego. Martin said a suspect is under arrest, and a patrol officer spotted him on the street thanks to security video. The case will be turned over to Jackson County prosecutors for possible charges.

Still missing, however: The pocket watch that belonged to Kevin’s great-grandfather.

Source: https://fox4kc.com/2018/08/24/one-of-widowers-two-stolen-heirlooms-recovered-at-pawn-shop-after-kcpd-investigation/

South Bend police warn of increase in thefts from vehicles

August 24, 2018

SOUTH BEND — Police are warning people of a rash in thefts from cars throughout the city.

Police in the last few months have received several reports of items being stolen from vehicles, many of which were targets because they were unlocked.

South Bend police are reminding people to lock their vehicles and not leave valuable items inside. The department also encourages residents to document their items on Report It through LeadsOnline. The online systems works with police across the country to track and recover stolen property.

When an item is sold to a pawn or secondhand shop, the product information is entered into the database and can immediately be viewed by law enforcement.

You can register for the free service at reportit.leadsonline.com.

Source: https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/publicsafety/south-bend-police-warn-of-increase-in-thefts-from-vehicles/article_09b83257-1dde-5ce0-bfd1-2b1537ff1c82.html

Stolen Xbox leads to felony theft charges

August 15, 2018

Jason Duane Lampl, 28, of Park Rapids has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony theft.

According to court records, on June 25 he allegedly stole an Xbox and other items with a total value of $616 from the Detroit Lakes Walmart. He was allegedly caught on video concealing the items. He was arrested by a deputy the next day while trespassing at a Detroit Lakes business and the Xbox was in his vehicle.

Lampl appeared June 27 before District Judge Gretchen Thilmony, who set cash bail at $1,000 or bond at $10,000, with conditions, or bond at $20,000 without standard conditions of release.

Source: http://www.dl-online.com/news/4484948-stolen-xbox-leads-felony-theft-charges

Couple arrested, accused in $65K thefts at Athens middle school

August 15, 2018

By Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A man and woman accused of pilfering more than $65,000 in copper and supplies from an Athens middle school were arrested at a motel in Banks County, officials confirmed Monday.

Eric Aguilar and Sierra Yuhas, both 28, were pulling out of the Comfort Inn on Devils Pond Road in Crawford when Banks County sheriff’s deputies arrested them on outstanding warrants in the thefts at W.E. Coile Middle School, according to a police report obtained by AJC.com.

The couple’s child, who is believed to have served as a lookout during the crimes, was in the backseat when they were arrested. The Division of Family and Children Services was called to the scene to assist with the child.

The couple were booked into the Clarke County jail on theft by taking charges, according to jail records. Aguilar also faces two counts of theft by deception. Earlier this year, the couple were arrested on burglary and theft by taking charges in a March 15 case in Oglethorpe County, according to the county’s superior court records.

Athens-Clarke County police issued arrest warrants for the couple Thursday, alleging they stole copper and supplies stored in the gymnasium. According to police, Aguilar worked for a contractor at the school while it was being renovated.

According to a June 13 police report, another contractor alerted police that copper wire recently installed in the school was missing.

Police said Aguilar was spotted that night on school property with Yuhas and their child, who were serving as lookouts while Aguilar stole items from the school. Yuhas allegedly sold the copper wire online, and they found more than 20 entries on Leads Online, a site that aids police in solving investigations, related to the sales.

Police believe Yuhas sold the wire to keep Aguilar’s name “off the books.”

On Friday, Banks County deputies caught up with the family after a tipster informed them they’d been staying at the motel. As soon as officers arrived, Aguilar and Yuhas pulled out, hit the tipster’s car and sped away, according to the report. They were eventually pulled over on Ga. 15 and arrested.

Source: https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/couple-arrested-accused-65k-thefts-athens-middle-school/HxPG3GjIeHbc7nwnsaOCoI/

New online tool helps property owners recover stolen items

August 7, 2018

By Christa Wood

HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The probability of stolen items being recovered is higher now thanks to a new online tool.

According to our newspaper partners, the Marshall News Messenger, Citizen Property Inventory System, allows property owners to enter serial numbers in order to assist law enforcement in recovery of their items.

“This is a free service offered by Leads online,” Harrison County Sheriff’s Office officials informed. “This website is connected to a law enforcement tool and is used to investigate thefts and burglaries.

“If the person has entered the serial number of an item and it is stolen, law enforcement will have an immediate match to the location of the pawned item and who pawned it,” officials said. “The primary site that law enforcement utilizes covers the entire United States and regardless of where the item is purchased, law enforcement may then have a tool to proceed.”

The website address for sign-up for this free service is: reportit.leadsonline.com.

Source: https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/local-news/new-online-tool-helps-property-owners-recover-stolen-items/1350915287

Omaha pawn shop protocol regarding stolen items

July 31, 2018

By Karla James

Husker Head Coach Scott Frost stated he is disappointed and discouraged after someone broke into his Lincoln home over the weekend. At first it was thought that the thieves made off with more than a dozen Championship rings but they were found safe.

Many times jewelry and other items show up at pawn shops. John Dineen is the general manager of Sol’s Jewelry and Loan in Omaha and doubts they would turn up locally. He says all the items that were thought to be taken were unique and one-of-a-kind. They would have been red flags had someone tried to pawn them at a shop.

Dineen says, “We work very closely with the Omaha police Department. When we do buy something, items go through a two week police check. If you had heard in the past couple of years they talk about “Leads Online”, a new program that is out there where we take pictures of items, of the person, fingerprints, ID and everything and it actually goes straight into the police database so that if something like this happens it doesn’t take a day or two to go through our files. They can have it in a blink of an eye.”

Dineen says selling of stolen items is a very small part of their business because of programs like that. However, he would much rather see stolen items come into his shop so they can be traced back to the real owner instead of it being sold online where it can’t be tracked.

Lincoln police say there were several items taken from Frost’s home including five pair of Oregon Air Jordan shoes and a Wii gaming system.

Source: https://nebraskaradionetwork.com/2018/07/31/omaha-pawn-shop-protocol-regarding-stolen-items/

Madison Township police using database to track lost, stolen property

July 18, 2018

By Jonathan Tressler

Madison Township residents may now use an online database to help keep track of their valuables in case they become lost or get stolen.

According to a July 17 news release from the Madison Township Police Department, it began using a service called ReportIt, offered through LeadsOnline, in June.

“LeadsOnline is a searchable data base. The data entered are items, typically serialized items, by businesses — i.e. pawn shops, cash for gold, and buy sell trade,” said police Detective Thurston Svagerko.

The township is also employing the add-on ReportIt service, Svagerko explained. Besides offering police access to the free LeadsOnline database, the ReportIt option allows citizens to enter serial numbers from their valuables into the database, themselves.

ReportIt is a free, secure online service allowing citizens to record serial numbers and upload images for phones, electronics, and other valuables, the release stated. That will greatly help the police department accurately and quickly identifying the property if it’s ever stolen.

The release further states that residents can store an unlimited number of serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures and scans of receipts so items may be more easily identified in the event of theft. This record may also come in handy when filing claims with insurance providers in the event of loss.

Residents wanting to participate in ReportIt can register for the free service at reportit.leadsonline.com and begin building their personal property inventory list.

Svagerko said detectives learned about LeadsOnline and its array of service options at a criminal investigation class and have already used it to successfully close some cases.

“(Madison Township police) decided to use LeadsOnline because of success stories of other police departments using LeadsOnline and to reduce the time and manpower of calling every shop individually and requesting them to search their records,” he said. “I’m pleased with the amount of time that LeadsOnline saves during an investigation. In the short time officers have had access to LeadsOnline, we were able to solve a few cases, which included recovering family heirloom jewelry and stolen firearms that had been removed from Ohio and sold in West Virginia.”

The detective added that he anticipates LeadsOnline and its ReportIt service will prove valuable in future investigations.

Madison Township police using database to track lost, stolen property

July 18, 2018

By Jonathan Tressler, The News-Herald

Madison Township residents may now use an online database to help keep track of their valuables in case they become lost or get stolen.

According to a July 17 news release from the Madison Township Police Department, it began using a service called ReportIt, offered through LeadsOnline, in June.

“LeadsOnline is a searchable data base. The data entered are items, typically serialized items, by businesses — i.e. pawn shops, cash for gold, and buy sell trade,” said police Detective Thurston Svagerko.

The township is also employing the add-on ReportIt service, Svagerko explained. Besides offering police access to the free LeadsOnline database, the ReportIt option allows citizens to enter serial numbers from their valuables into the database, themselves.

ReportIt is a free, secure online service allowing citizens to record serial numbers and upload images for phones, electronics, and other valuables, the release stated. That will greatly help the police department accurately and quickly identifying the property if it’s ever stolen.

The release further states that residents can store an unlimited number of serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures and scans of receipts so items may be more easily identified in the event of theft. This record may also come in handy when filing claims with insurance providers in the event of loss.

Residents wanting to participate in ReportIt can register for the free service at reportit.leadsonline.com and begin building their personal property inventory list.

Svagerko said detectives learned about LeadsOnline and its array of service options at a criminal investigation class and have already used it to successfully close some cases.

“(Madison Township police) decided to use LeadsOnline because of success stories of other police departments using LeadsOnline and to reduce the time and manpower of calling every shop individually and requesting them to search their records,” he said. “I’m pleased with the amount of time that LeadsOnline saves during an investigation. In the short time officers have had access to LeadsOnline, we were able to solve a few cases, which included recovering family heirloom jewelry and stolen firearms that had been removed from Ohio and sold in West Virginia.”

The detective added that he anticipates LeadsOnline and its ReportIt service will prove valuable in future investigations.

Source: http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20180718/madison-township-police-using-database-to-track-lost-stolen-property

Madison man charged with selling stolen firearm

July 14, 2018

A Madison man is accused of selling a gun reported stolen from a Waunakee home in December.

Demarko A. Muhammad, age 22, faces one felony count of theft including a misdemeanor theft — misrepresentation count filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 14, 2017, Waunakee Police responded to a Henry Street home where the resident reported his Remington 760 Pump 30-60 rifle with a camo sling and Bedfield brand scope had been stolen from his vehicle parked near his home.

On Dec. 27, a Waunakee Police investigator located the stolen firearm at Pawn America in Madison after tracking pawn records on LeadsOnline and discovering a rifle identical to the one reported stolen, according to the criminal complaint.

On Jan. 18, a Waunakee detective spoke to Muhammad who, when asked, allegedly said he did sell the rifle at Pawn America.

According to the criminal complaint, when police informed him the firearm was stolen, Muhammed told police he was offered to buy it for $70.

The criminal complaint states, “Muhammed said on December 15, 2017, he was hanging out at Ray-Ray’s house with J-Money and Muhammed asked J-Money if he had some high grade marijuana for sale because he saw J-Money was carrying a suitcase. Muhammad said J-Money had a rifle in the suitcase for $70.”

The complaint states Muhammad said he sold the gun, gave J-Money $70 and kept $130.

Muhammad also allegedly said yes when police asked if he had marked paperwork and told Pawn America Staff that the firearm belonged to him.

“Muhammad said yes, that was the only way you sell property at a pawn shop,” the criminal complaint states.

If convicted, Muhammad could face a maximum fine of no more than $10,000 or 6 years in prison. The misdemeanor theft charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000 or nine months in prison if convicted.

Source: http://www.hngnews.com/waunakee_tribune/news/local/article_45fb2462-2e47-5191-a726-8f335c05bafa.html

Police urging people to sign up for free website to record info on valuables

July 13, 2018

By Maria Catanzarite

As South Bend Police are responding to dozens of break-ins in the past month, they want the public to know about a free service where they can record a digital copy of their belongings.

“Nobody sits there and expects they’re going to have something stolen, like their house broken into, their car broken into,” listed Capt. Anthony Bontrager. “They don’t expect it, or they would take other precautions.”

Bontrager is pointing people to the ReportIt feature of the website leadsonline.com. There, you can store serial numbers, photos, and a detailed description of electronics, expensive clothing, jewelry, et cetera.

“We’re finding, as a lot of people don’t keep track of their serial numbers or identifiers for their property, and what happens is it makes it very difficult (a) for us to see who is stealing the property and/or (b) actually getting the property back to the people it belongs to,” Bontrager explained.

If a thief tries to re-sell an item that has a serial number at a secondhand store or pawn shop, Bontrager said they will be notified.

“We can put a hold on it and actually get the property back to (the owner),” he said.

Your ReportIt account is private, which prevents police from accessing it at their leisure.

Source: http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Police-urging-people-to-sign-up-for-free-website-to-record-info-on-valuables-488142411.html

Suspect charged with felony bail jumping

July 11, 2018

Jeffrey A. Schiesel, 41, Waupaca, is charged with felony bail jumping, concealing stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

On June 18, Waupaca Police Officer Diana Flatoff met with a 25-year-old man whose bicycle had been stolen overnight. He said the bike was only a few months old and had been locked to a tree outside his apartment complex.

Flatoff later checked Leads Online and found that the bike had been sold to a pawn shop in Grand Chute.

She then reviewed security video from the pawn shop and identified Schiesel and a 14-year-old boy as the people pawning the bike.

On July 3, Flatoff interviewed Schiesel and the boy’s mother at the Waupaca Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint, Schiesel said he pawned the bike, but it was not stolen. He said he got the bike from someone who died.

Flatoff asked Schiesel who died, explained that the bike had been reported stolen and she wanted to know how it came to be in his possession.

“What if I told you I found it on my property leaned up by a tree in my backyard,” Schiesel reportedly said.

When Flatoff interviewed the boy, he said Schiesel invited him to ride along to Appleton, then took him to a pawn shop.

Schiesel allegedly handed him the paperwork and left the counter area, while the boy collected the cash. The boy then gave the cash to Schiesel once they were outside the store, the complaint says.

Released on a $1,000 signature bond, Schiesel is scheduled for an adjourned intial appearance in court on July 23.

He is also scheduled for a plea/sentencing hearing on July 23 in a June 2017 burglary case.

He is accused of breaking into Manufacturers Pallet Disposal in Waupaca and stealing $899 worth of tools.

Source: http://www.waupacanow.com/2018/07/11/stolen-bike-found-at-pawn-shop/

Man gets prison in $263k jewelry burglary

June 30, 2018

By Nick Morgan

A man was sentenced Friday to nearly three years in prison after admitting he filled a duffel bag with six figures worth of jewelry during a Medford pawn shop burglary.

Stephen Wesley Bryant, 42, pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated theft and second-degree burglary in Jackson County Circuit Court, admitting he broke into Southern Oregon Pawn and made off with hundreds of jewelry pieces from the shop’s display case before dawn April 2.

Bryant said little at the hearing beyond, “I accept that amount,” as his court-appointed defense lawyer, Amy Young, sought more time to verify a restitution sheet totaling $263,616.75.

During the hearing, Southern Oregon Pawn owner Peter Schulzke said that virtually none of the jewelry has been recovered.

“I’d like to find out what happened to it, to be honest,” Schulzke said. “As would my insurance.”

Schulzke said his alarm system had been activated but “did not work.” More than 700 pieces of jewelry were taken, his inventory logs showed. His security cameras captured the heist, which involved three visits and lasted more than 90 minutes.

“It’s crazy,” Schulzke said.

Bryant reportedly entered through a side door after the broken-glass alarm failed to trip, according to Schulzke, and made off with at least one laptop bag filled with electronics. Bryant wore a mask and heavy gloves during the burglary, and returned two more times by bike — once because he lacked a tool used to pry open display cases, and again to fill bags described by police in court documents as a duffel bag and a sea bag.

“He basically knew which cases to go to,” Schulzke said.

The jewelry retailed for $260,000 but cost the business $156,000, Schulzke said in court.

A break in the case came April 17, when a woman pawned a pair of men’s eight-karat gold rings with their diamonds removed at Father and Son Jewelry. The business uploaded photographs of the rings to the Leads Online database, used by Medford police and 27 pawn shops in the area.

A Southern Oregon Pawn employee alerted police to the match, and Father and Son Jewelry gave police the woman’s contact information.

The woman, who had been lodged in the Jackson County Jail on methamphetamine charges, told police she got the rings from an acquaintance she knew as “Stretch.” A search of the woman’s home revealed the missing diamonds and Southern Oregon Pawn price tags. The woman provided police with Bryant’s Facebook page and cellphone number.

She hasn’t been charged in the case, and was described during Bryant’s hearing as a witness.

Bryant was arrested May 1, court documents show.

Bryant’s lawyer had negotiated a 24-month prison sentence with Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Markiewicz in the case, but Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack added 10 months to the sentence by ordering that a portion of the aggravated first-degree theft and second-degree burglary convictions be served consecutively, rather than concurrently.

“It seems so brazen to me,” Barnack said of the crime.

Barnack cited Bryant’s extensive criminal history, which included 52 arrests in California and at least 16 prior convictions.

“I look at him and I look at his record – it’s just too long,” Barnack said. “As a judge, I don’t have to follow the recommendation, and this time I’m not going to do it.”

Source: http://mailtribune.com/news/crime-courts-emergencies/man-gets-prison-in-263k-jewelry-burglary

LCSO: Man stole from neighbor who helped him

June 28, 2018

Levy Co., Fla., (WCJB) – Levy County deputies arrested a man after they say he stole thousands of dollars in jewelry and cash from an elderly neighbor who had helped him out.

According to deputies, Jonathan Brotherton, 34, had befriended his neighbor, who loaned Brotherton money and gave him access to their home for doing laundry. Deputies then say Brotherton stole jewelry and cash from the home while his neighbor went out of town. Deputies say they later found the jewelry and many pawn shops. When deputies went to arrest him, they say Brotherton tried to hide in his home and they ultimately had to force him into custody.

Deputies say that through their investigation, they found Brotherton stole from his neighbor to support his addiction to methamphetamine and possible other drugs.

He is charged with grand theft, resisting an officer without violence, dealing in stolen property and giving false information to a pawn broker.

Source: http://www.wcjb.com/content/news/LCSO-Man-stole-from-neighbor-who-helped-him–486857251.html

Caregiver stole $40,000 in rings off dementia patients’ fingers as they slept, Tacoma police say

June 26, 2018

By Kenny Ocker

A caregiver at a Tacoma nursing home for memory loss patients stole more than $40,000 in rings from residents’ fingers as they slept, Pierce County prosecutors allege.

The 34-year-old was charged Monday in Superior Court with three counts of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult, four counts of second-degree theft and two counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Arraignment is set for July 9.

According to charging documents:

Employees at the memory care center in the 6000 block of North Highlands Parkway began to receive complaints last year from family members that patients were missing rings from their fingers while they were asleep. The victims all had dementia, so they could not say what happened.

The manager of the care facility contacted Tacoma police Nov. 8 and passed along the results of an internal investigation.

A day before, three residents were missing rings — one missing three worth $9,000, another missing a diamond ring worth $12,000 and one missing a diamond ring worth $14,000.

On three days in late October, three other patients’ rings — worth about $4,500 — were reported missing.

The manager suspected an employee was responsible because the residents lived in secured wings. Only one caregiver was working in the wings on each day the thefts were reported: the 34-year-old woman.

In one incident, a co-worker saw the woman emerge from a wing in which she didn’t work and a ring was reported missing immediately. The woman then went to a bench in the hallway and said she found the ring there, returning it that night.

The woman started at the clinic Oct. 10, less than two weeks before the first theft was reported. She was fired Nov. 7, after the last three ring thefts were discovered. No ring thefts had been reported before she started, and none has been reported since she was fired.

A Tacoma police detective checked area pawn shops and found the woman did two transactions at the same shop, including one on the day she was fired. The owner said the woman came in and sold the jewelry to him, and provided receipts that included a copy of her driver’s license.

The detective cross-referenced the rings with the care facility’s records of each patient’s jewelry and was able to recover each of the ones referenced in the charging documents and return them to their owners.

He also found another patient’s ring that had not yet been reported missing, worth about $1,000, and returned it to its owner, as well.

A caregiver who had two rings worth $2,500 stolen from her purse during one of her shifts got her rings back from the pawn shop.

Other patients’ rings reported missing during the woman’s time at the care facility were not recovered. The detective tried to call the woman, but she did not return his messages.

The investigation is ongoing, and more charges might be filed, prosecutors note.

Source: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article213882119.html

House guest accused of stealing $35,000 worth of jewelry

June 22, 2018

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A man faces a felony theft charge after police say he stole $35,000 worth of jewelry from a Jonesboro woman’s home where he was staying.

Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler found probable cause Friday to charge 22-year-old Levi Hunter Parnell with theft of $25,000 or more from a building, a Class B felony.

On June 11, the victim reported someone had stolen several pieces of jewelry from her residence. There were no signs of forced entry, according to the affidavit, and it was believed that someone with access to the home had taken the items.

The woman provided investigators with two names of possible suspects. One was Parnell’s.

According to the affidavit, Parnell was staying at the victim’s home at the time the jewelry was stolen.

Using LeadsOnline, the detective learned that Parnell had sold several items of jewelry to Pawn Express around the time the victim reported the theft.

The pawn shop provided the investigator with video of Parnell and the stolen items, the court documents alleged.

On June 21, Parnell was taken in for questioning. During the interview, he reportedly said he had never seen the jewelry.

Then he stated that he “did not remember selling the jewelry” and denied taking the items.

Parnell is due in circuit court on Aug. 23. If convicted of the Class B felony, he could be fined as much as $15,000 and sentenced from 5-20 years in prison.

Source: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/38488491/house-guest-accused-of-stealing-35000-worth-of-jewelry

Arrest made in theft of $30K in Home Depot merchandise

June 22, 2018

By Aaron Barker

HOUSTON – A man was arrested Friday in connection with the theft of $30,000 in merchandise from more than a dozen Home Depot stores in the Houston area.

Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said his deputies helped recover some of the items that were stolen from at least 15 stores, including generators, welding equipment, chainsaws and paint sprayers.

Juan Carlos Lopez, 32, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree felony theft.

“We know there was price tag swapping. He would take $30 item price tag on it, paying pennies on the dollar for really high item stuff,” said Deputy Joe Bowden, with Precinct. 1.

Bowden said some of the items were found at Cash America Pawn Shop which is near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Tidwell Road.

Investigators said in a tweet that Lopez has been arrested and charged with theft. They said Lopez confessed to the thefts.

KPRC Channel 2 News asked Lopez if he had anything to say, and his response was, “I don’t want to say anything.”

“The more I look into (the thefts) I’m learning we’re going to have to go back a couple of years. He’s been arrested for it before,” Bowden said. “He has a warrant right now for Harris County Sheriff’s Office for the same thing and now he’s going to have one out of the city as well.”

Bowden didn’t say specifically which Home Depot stores were targeted, or the exact timeline, but said they have video evidence.

Authorities said Home Depot reached out to them when they noticed the numbers were not matching up. Some of the items stolen range from $400 to more than $1,000, according to authorities.

At this time, Precinct. 1 believes Lopez acted alone, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Source: https://www.click2houston.com/news/arrest-made-in-theft-of-30k-in-home-depot-merchandise

Woman suspected of stealing $11K worth of jewelry and guitars

June 18, 2018

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Jonesboro woman faces a felony theft charge after police say she stole and pawned more than $11,000 worth of jewelry and guitars.

The victim reported to police on May 18, 2018, that someone staying at her home had stolen several items from her home.

The victim told Detective Chad Hogard the items, which included jewelry and guitars, were in an upstairs bedroom where Stephanie Michelle Arms, 39, of Bono was staying. She placed the value at $11,545.

During his investigation, Hogard said in the probable cause affidavit that Arms had pawned the stolen items at a Jonesboro pawn shop.

On June 7, a judge found probable cause to charge her with theft greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000 and issued a warrant for her arrest.

Officers arrested Arms just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday. On Monday, she appeared in video court before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler who set her bond at $1,500 cash/surety and ordered her to appear in circuit court on July 27.

Source: http://www.kait8.com/story/38450068/woman-suspected-of-stealing-11k-worth-of-jewelry-and-guitars

2 served with warrants for home burglary while behind bars

June 12th, 2018

By Samantha Forester

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) – Two people were served with burglary of a habitation warrants on Monday while behind bars in the Wichita County Jail for unrelated crimes.

According to the arrest affidavit, on May 17, 2018, officers were called to a home in the 2800 block of Richard Road in reference to a home burglary.

The victims came home to find two weapons, jewelry, lawn equipment and makeup brushes were stolen from the home that had been ransacked, according to police.

Surveillance video from a neighbor showed the suspect vehicle as a green or gray, early 2000 Ford Explorer. The driver of the vehicle was a white woman and the man involved was described as light-skinned and Hispanic.

Information from another police agency, involving these same suspects, identified them as Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Jr., 27, and Micah Marie Hubbard, 27.

The suspect vehicle was also identified as a 2005 Food Explorer with a temporary tag. Officers found the suspect vehicle as it was being white. The temporary tag matched the tag given to the other police agency.

During surveillance of the suspect vehicle, officers were able to identify Rodriguez and Hubbard as occupants of the vehicle. The vehicle was later seized and property that was stolen from the home was found inside, according to police.

A check of Leads Online showed Hubbard and Rodriguez had used their state issued ID’s to pawn some of the stolen property in Gainsville and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

A photo lineup was shown to an employee of one of the pawn shops and she positively identified Hubbard as the person who came in and pawned the stolen property, according to the arrest document.

Both are behind bars in the Wichita Co. Jail facing a list of charges.

Source: http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/38408048/2-served-with-warrants-for-home-burglary-while-behind-bars

Police: Using ReportIt can help victims of theft

June 9, 2018

By Erin McSwain-Davis

The Carrollton Police Department is spreading awareness about a secure website via Facebook called ReportIt, which is a citizen property inventory system, and law enforcement is urging residents to take advantage of it.

The Facebook site reads that if a resident has been a victim of theft, such as a burglary or having their car broken into, the victim can provide the necessary information, such as the serial number, to help Carrollton police find their stolen property.

“We created and shared the post because Facebook is a great way to reach a large number of people,” said Det. Blake Hitchcock. “When people have their serial numbers to their belonging and pictures to their property, we can share that through our crime information center, not only in Georgia but all over the country, so if your belongings are found by a department in California who runs the serial number, the right owner can recover it.”

Hitchcock said that if police are not provided a serial number, then the information of the stolen items will remain in the system locally. Hitchcock said that recording a serial number also helps with showing ownership if the need ever arises. When taking photos of jewelry, police suggest that you take closeup pictures.

“We want to educate the public to try and do a better job with keeping up with their belongings,” said Hitchcock. “But we shared this website because it was cool to see a free service where you can log in, put all your information in, and be in the know that if something happens then you can print it out and share it with us.”

“It is a secure website, just like with one’s bank account,” said Hitchcock. “It helps us try to locate people’s property because one of the main goals of our investigations is to try to find the property to give back to the victim.”

Source: http://www.times-georgian.com/news/local/police-using-reportit-can-help-victims-of-theft/article_18e12c70-aa78-5372-bbdb-f1ee008206f2.html

Dane man accused of theft

June 5, 2018

A Dane man faces three counts of burglary, along with other counts of misdemeanor theft, felony bail jumping and obstructing an officer after being accused of entering a home on West Second Street and stealing.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court, Waunakee Police were dispatched to the home on March 28 when a caller reported a watch valued at $775 was stolen, along with a large amount of loose change and dollar bills.

The caller indicated he knew the identity of the person responsible, according to the complaint, which notes that Waunakee Police had have previous contacts with the alleged perpetrator, Justin Frank Schwenn, age 21, who the complaint states has a criminal record for numerous thefts in the past and is a known heroin addict.

Police had located the watch which was pawned by Schwenn at Pawn America through LeadsOnline record, the criminal complaint states.

When police followed up with the Waunakee resident on March 29, they were told a Craftsman trimmer and tiller attachment valued at $280 in all were also missing. A search on LeadsOnline also revealed those missing items had been pawned by Schwenn, the complaint states.

Police then contacted Schwenn, who verbally identified himself. Schwenn told police that there would be list of other items stolen, and a review of those records revealed 16 items pawned to Pawn America from Feb. 10 through March 26, according to the complaint.

Officers were able to confirm that Schwenn had pawned the watch, ladder and weed trimmer, along with the Craftsman cordless drill and saw belonging to the complainant, but Schwenn told police he had taken those items from a plastic tote in the backyard of the home, according to the complaint.

Schwenn allegedly told the officer that a friend, who was also a heroin addict, was staying with him and asked that two women stay the weekend as well, the complaint states. Schwenn allegedly told the officer one of the women offered him the watch for allowing her to stay the weekend.

The officer’s investigation revealed that the woman was incarcerated at the Dane County Jail, where the officer contacted her and learned she had been in jail at the time of the arrest, the complaint states, and she informed the investigator that the last time she stayed with Schwenn had been in January, according to the complaint. She told the investigator that Schwenn had also taken her property without consent “and returned the items for money to use toward his drug addiction,” the complaint states.

Police reviewed records showing that Schwenn was charged on March 13 with possession of narcotic drugs and the charge was pending.

Schwenn faces three counts of burglary, repeater, which carries a maximum fine of $25,000 or sentence of 12 years six months in jail. Because of a 2014 conviction of manufacture/deliver THC, the sentence could be extended two to four years.

Further counts include: misdemeanor theft, repeater; felony bail jumping, repeater; and obstructing an officer, repeater.

Source: http://www.hngnews.com/waunakee_tribune/news/business/article_abf0cb23-b695-5512-8a7b-93a8abc941fe.html

Men accused of stealing more than 22,000 pounds of copper wire

June 1, 2018

SAN ANTONIO – Police have arrested two men accused of stealing thousands of pounds of copper wire.

During an online metal sales database search for a recent copper theft suspect, investigators came across someone who had sold thousands of pounds of insulated copper over a three month period, according to an affidavit.

Investigators said the suspect was selling what appeared to be brand new wire and it did not look like scrap wire. The company, M.A. Mortenson Company, previously reported that about 54 spools of the same wire had been stolen. It was valued at about $128,000. M.A. Mortenson Company said the wire is typically used for solar energy grids.

Further investigation found that the suspects, 45-year-old Ramiro Rodulfo and 28-year-old Jose Angel Valenzuela, were employed by M.A. Mortenson Company. Rodlufo allegedly made $27,000 off of the wire sales, while Valenzuela allegedly made about $8,900, according to the affidavit.

Both were arrested and charged with theft of copper.

Source: http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/men-accused-of-stealing-more-than-22000-pounds-of-copper-wire

Pensacola family held at gunpoint as robbers ransacked home, police say

May 31, 2018

By Kevin Robinson

A Kentucky man is in jail after he and two others allegedly forced their way into a Pensacola home, held the residents at gunpoint and stole thousands of dollars in property and two cars.

Darquavias Tyrell Brown, 27, was arrested Monday in connection with a home invasion that occurred at a Z Street residence in April.

According to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, one of the home’s residents responded to a knock at the front door around 4:30 a.m. Two men carrying handguns came inside and started corralling all the home’s occupants into one location. A third man entered and the victims were ordered to lay on the ground and close their eyes.

The intruders then ransacked the home, taking watches, jewelry, electronics, debit cards and other valuables.

As the men exited, they allegedly told the victims to stay where they were and count to 100, and that “if they called the cops, they would return and kill their families,” according to the report.

The men allegedly stole two vehicles from the home, which deputies found still running but abandoned about two blocks away.

Deputies were able to identify Brown as a possible suspect, and an investigation revealed he had sold several of the stolen items to a local pawn shop, the arrest report says.

The victims were able to identify Brown as one of their assailants, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. However, deputies were initially unable to locate him.

On May 1, Brown and an accomplice allegedly robbed a Motel 6 on Pensacola Boulevard. According to an arrest report, the men entered the hotel, jumped over the front counter and ordered the clerk to tell them where the money was kept.

The robbers reportedly took some cash and fled on foot.

Investigators were able to recover fingerprints from the scene, which were later identified as Brown’s, according to the report.

On May 28, a deputy performed traffic stop on Brown after he allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign. The dispatch informed the deputy that Brown had two outstanding warrant, one with a $1 million bond, and Brown was taken into custody.

He is facing a multitude of charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, home invasion, robbery with a firearm, grand theft, grand theft of a motor vehicle, larceny and dealing in stolen property.

Brown is currently being held in Escambia County Jail on $2,511,000 bond, according to jail records.

Source: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/05/31/pensacola-family-held-gunpoint-robbers-ransacked-home-ecso-says/659366002/

Free service helps East Ridge Police locate stolen property, find thieves

May 27th, 2018

The East Ridge Police Department wants to help residents protect their belongings while they’re on vacation.

The police department announced that they have partnered with Leads Online, which has a system that allows citizens to store serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures and scans of receipts so that items can be identified if they are lost or stolen.

East Ridge Police said the service will help them locate stolen property and find thieves.

“ReportIt, a service of Leads Online, allows citizens of East Ridge the ability to securely store a home inventory for use in case of a loss, theft, or disaster,” a spokesperson explained.

There is no cost to use the service.

“In the unfortunate event of a loss, the inventory can be accessed by the user to provide much-needed information to law enforcement and insurance companies. This information is often crucial to solving cases and filing claims,” the spokesperson added.

Source: http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/38287987/free-service-helps-east-ridge-police-locate-stolen-property-find-thieves

City updates ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers

May 11, 2018

By Tara Melton

ALAMOGORDO &endash; City Commissioners approved updating the ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers at their Tuesday meeting.

“There’s a program online called Leads Online and it’s a program that’s free for the pawnshop brokers,” said Police Chief Brian Peete. “Our property crimes are driven primarily through drugs. So when individuals’ homes are broken into, when bikes are stolen, more often than not the perpetrators are going to go to a pawnshop and pawn the items.”

Peete explained that through this online program pawnshops are able to electronically record all the information that comes with the item, such as who brought the item, serial numbers, descriptions and take images of the item.

“Our detectives and officers responding to these calls can jump on Leads Online and type (for example) ‘gold watch’ and see if someone brought that to a pawnshop within the area,” Peete said. “This is something Las Cruces and El Paso are doing, so we can pull up what individuals are pawning in all other locations.”

Currently, Peete said the Alamogordo Police Department only receives written descriptions of items from local pawnshops.

“Because our personnel power is pretty low, this is something that would help us tremendously in moving quickly to apprehend individuals we suspect of property crimes,” Peete said.

City Attorney Petria Schreiber added the pawnshop records are currently being kept, the only thing the city is adding are photo documentation of the items and the information is uploaded to Leads Online.

“They are required to keep these records in our ordinance and in state law, this is not a new thing that we’re requiring,” Schreiber said.

Commissioners Josh Rardin and Susan Payne expressed their concerns with how this will effect local thrift stores.

“We’re not (regulating) thrift stores,” Schreiber said. “If you look in the ordinance… (it covers) non-profit or charitable secondhand goods or thrift shops. They are absolutely excluded from this entire ordinance.”

Commissioner Al Hernandez brought up illegal pop-up garage sales out of the back of vehicles.

“One of the things I’ve seen as of late is people bringing truckloads of crap and setting it up at the Fairgrounds,” Hernandez said. “Last weekend they were set up at the bank on White Sands Boulevard next to Blake’s. I’ve seen them at Allsup’s on Canal. They’re just popping up and to me, it’s ugly. I don’t know where these people come from or what they’re doing, but I think as we’re adding and changing ordinances we need to enforce the ones we already have.”

Schreiber responded that she’d work with Peete to address those issues.

Hernandez motioned to approve updating the ordinance, Rardin seconded the item and the motion was approved 6-0.

Source: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/2018/05/11/city-updates-ordinance-pertaining-pawnbrokers/603067002/

Alamogordo council backs update to pawnbrokers ordinance

May 14, 2018

By Casey Torres

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – Albuquerque city councilors have proposed tighter regulations on pawn shops in an effort to lower property crime rates, and they’re not alone. Last week, the City of Alamogordo tentatively approved an update to its ordinance on pawnshops.

The final decision on the ordinance will be made in June. If passed, pawnbrokers must ditch the paper trail and input information from sellers in an online database.

“There’s a company called Leads Online and what Leads Online does, it computerizes and it tracks items that are pawned or sold to pawn shops,” Police Chief Brian Peete said.

Peete said the program will cost the department about $4,000 per year and it will be paid for with taxpayer money. The new ordinance does not apply to thrift stores, only pawnshops.

“It’s been a long time since we have had an actual item that was brought in stolen,” said Robert Estrada, who owns G I Joe Pawn Shop. It happens but not as often as people think.”

Every day, Estrada sends in his logs for the items he’s purchased. He includes a description of the item and the identifications of the sellers.

Peete said it’s not easy to find stolen items solely on a description on paper. With the online program, pawnbrokers will also have to input a picture of the item and serial numbers.

“We have access to know real time what it was that they’ve been given and if someone’s house was stolen again,” Peete said. “We go (to Leads Online), you find and get a description of the item, put it into the computer and you have a possible identifier.”

Peete adds that this new system will cut the time it takes to find an item and allow officers to focus on other cases.

Estrada said he doesn’t mind more regulations, as long as they help cut down on crime.

Source: https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/alamogordo-city-council-pawnbrokers-ordinance-update/4907524/

City updates ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers

May 11, 2018

By Tara Melton

ALAMOGORDO – City Commissioners approved updating the ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers at their Tuesday meeting.

“There’s a program online called Leads Online and it’s a program that’s free for the pawnshop brokers,” said Police Chief Brian Peete. “Our property crimes are driven primarily through drugs. So when individuals’ homes are broken into, when bikes are stolen, more often than not the perpetrators are going to go to a pawnshop and pawn the items.”

Peete explained that through this online program pawnshops are able to electronically record all the information that comes with the item, such as who brought the item, serial numbers, descriptions and take images of the item.

“Our detectives and officers responding to these calls can jump on Leads Online and type (for example) ‘gold watch’ and see if someone brought that to a pawnshop within the area,” Peete said. “This is something Las Cruces and El Paso are doing, so we can pull up what individuals are pawning in all other locations.”

Currently, Peete said the Alamogordo Police Department only receives written descriptions of items from local pawnshops.

“Because our personnel power is pretty low, this is something that would help us tremendously in moving quickly to apprehend individuals we suspect of property crimes,” Peete said.

City Attorney Petria Schreiber added the pawnshop records are currently being kept, the only thing the city is adding are photo documentation of the items and the information is uploaded to Leads Online.

“They are required to keep these records in our ordinance and in state law, this is not a new thing that we’re requiring,” Schreiber said.

Commissioners Josh Rardin and Susan Payne expressed their concerns with how this will effect local thrift stores.

“We’re not (regulating) thrift stores,” Schreiber said. “If you look in the ordinance… (it covers) non-profit or charitable secondhand goods or thrift shops. They are absolutely excluded from this entire ordinance.”

Commissioner Al Hernandez brought up illegal pop-up garage sales out of the back of vehicles.

“One of the things I’ve seen as of late is people bringing truckloads of crap and setting it up at the Fairgrounds,” Hernandez said. “Last weekend they were set up at the bank on White Sands Boulevard next to Blake’s. I’ve seen them at Allsup’s on Canal. They’re just popping up and to me, it’s ugly. I don’t know where these people come from or what they’re doing, but I think as we’re adding and changing ordinances we need to enforce the ones we already have.”

Schreiber responded that she’d work with Peete to address those issues.

Hernandez motioned to approve updating the ordinance, Rardin seconded the item and the motion was approved 6-0.

Source: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/2018/05/11/city-updates-ordinance-pertaining-pawnbrokers/603067002/

Pawn shop owner helps officers nab suspect wanted for theft

May 9, 2018

By Kelly Wiley

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – If there’s one thing Greg Driggers doesn’t like it’s a thief.

“We have been here 35 years and it’s a stigma that goes along with this business. Everybody thinks ‘how can you take in stolen merchandise?’ Well, that’s not true,” said Greg Driggers, AAA Gun, and Pawn.

So, when Douglas Braham brought in a practically new Dyson vacuum into his pawn shop, claiming it was his grandmothers’ who had just passed away, he asked questions.

“I’m kind of curious because it’s in the box, but are we going to have a problem with this out of any of your family or anything?”

“He assured me. ‘Oh no we are not going to have any problems’ well he lied to me.”

Big time.

“Apparently he walked out of some department store and straight into this store.”

You see every time they take something in, they also take your photo, your thumbprint, and photo ID.

Then every night they run it all through a site called LeadsOnline.

Once they ran Braham’s name, they got a phone call from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“I said let me guess it’s a Dyson, I said yep. That son of a gun. You know. ”

And then another call from the alleged thief looking to sell more.

“We knew he was coming and notified the sheriff’s office.”

Turns out Braham’s rap sheet was longer than a vacuum cord. He’s been arrested multiple times in Florida too.

Kelly: Did you have any last words for Braham?

Greg: Bye!

AAA Gun and Pawn isn’t the only shop in town using LeadsOnline to filter out the bad guys and stolen goods.

Richmond County adopted an ordinance in 2013 mandating all purchasers of second-hand goods do the same.

“The people are going to get the merchandise back and the bad guys are going to go to jail, just cut and dry.”

After the ordinance was put in place in 2013, Richmond County’s Sheriff’s Office did an undercover sting and cited at least seven different pawn shops not following the proper protocol of taking proper records to see if the merchandise was stolen.

Pawn shop owner helps officers nab suspect wanted for theft

May 9, 2018

By Kelly Wiley

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – If there’s one thing Greg Driggers doesn’t like it’s a thief.

“We have been here 35 years and it’s a stigma that goes along with this business. Everybody thinks ‘how can you take in stolen merchandise?’ Well, that’s not true,” said Greg Driggers, AAA Gun, and Pawn.

So, when Douglas Braham brought in a practically new Dyson vacuum into his pawn shop, claiming it was his grandmothers’ who had just passed away, he asked questions.

“I’m kind of curious because it’s in the box, but are we going to have a problem with this out of any of your family or anything?”

“He assured me. ‘Oh no we are not going to have any problems’ well he lied to me.”

Big time.

“Apparently he walked out of some department store and straight into this store.”

You see every time they take something in, they also take your photo, your thumbprint, and photo ID.

Then every night they run it all through a site called LeadsOnline.

Once they ran Braham’s name, they got a phone call from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“I said let me guess it’s a Dyson, I said yep. That son of a gun. You know. ”

And then another call from the alleged thief looking to sell more.
“We knew he was coming notified the sheriff’s office.”

Turns out Braham’s rap sheet was longer than a vacuum cord. He’s been arrested multiple times in Florida too.

Kelly: Did you have any last words for Braham?

Greg: Bye!

AAA Gun and Pawn isn’t the only shop in town using LeadsOnline to filter out the bad guys and stolen goods.

Richmond County adopted an ordinance in 2013 mandating all purchasers of second-hand goods do the same.

“The people are going to get the merchandise back and the bad guys are going to go to jail, just cut and dry.”

After the ordinance was put in place in 2013, Richmond County’s Sheriff’s Office did an undercover sting and cited at least seven different pawn shops not following the proper protocol of taking proper records to see if the merchandise was stolen.

Source: http://www.wrdw.com/content/news/Pawn-shop-owner-helps-officers-nab-suspect-wanted-for-theft–482231131.html

Stolen guns can bring bigger crimes

April 19, 2018

By Ariana Garza

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As the debate over gun control continues, many criminals can already get free guns from people who don’t properly secure their legal firearms.

Guns are often stolen from vehicles — some of which are even left unlocked — or from homes during burglaries.

Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston said stolen guns can later be used to commit violent crimes, such as robberies or homicides.

Pawn shops work with police to prevent the sale of stolen guns.

“We hold things — if we purchase something — for 18 business days,” Mitch Smith, owner of Golden Pawn and Jewelry, said. “If we pawn something we hold it for two months before it goes out and it gives police ample time to check and see if the gun is not stolen or anything of that nature.”

Pawn shops also use the online database LeadsOnline to run a check of each gun that comes through their doors through a national database that stores information on stolen guns.
If a gun is flagged as stolen, police will step in to investigate.

Smith said someone tries to sell a stolen gun to his shop about once every six months.

That is why he double and triple checks each prospective seller’s information and runs background checks.

In order for police and the national database to be successful, gun owners should keep a record of the make, model, serial number and any other description of each gun.

Having that information handy in the event a gun is stolen will give investigators the best chance of finding it and returning it to you once the investigation is complete.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives — or ATF — provides a free personal firearms record sheet online.

To lower the risk of theft in the first place, Birmingham police recommend always locking your vehicle doors and installing a gun safe in your vehicle.

Police also recommend keeping your gun locked and unloaded at home and secured in a safe.

If you do not have a safe, Lt. Williston recommended a practice called “stealth” which essentially means hiding the gun in a non-obvious place, rather than leaving it on or in your nightstand.

Source: http://www.cbs42.com/news/local/stolen-guns-can-bring-bigger-crimes/1098100446

Military gear makes it way through pawn market

April 19, 2018

By Kelsey Stiglitz

While stolen goods may come into pawn shops, military gear or surplus goods sometimes come in less than honestly too.

A Jacksonville woman has been accused of selling her husband’s military gear.

Jessica Ann Rodgers, 29, of Baysden Drive in Jacksonville was charged Monday by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with felony larceny, felony possession of stolen property and four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

According to warrants, Rodgers is accused of selling her husband’s military gear without his knowledge or consent at the Southern Trade Emporium on 111 Marine Blvd.

According to Major Chris Thomas with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, it was a domestic situation and Rodgers was charged because the gear she allegedly sold belonged to the military, not her husband.

Thomas said the couple is estranged, and Rodgers’ husband was not aware of the alleged sale until he discovered he was missing gear. He contacted law enforcement to report the stolen gear.

Devon Wagner, the manager of Southern Trade Emporium, said there’s no way to verify stolen gear at the time of sale, but the sheriff’s office uses LeadsOnline to keep up with reports of stolen property.

When Wagner buys a new item, he records it in LeadsOnline and then staff waits a week before it is placed on the floor. This allows cases to be solved by law enforcement, if items pawned or sold are stolen.

“It’s a gamble for us,” Wagner said. “If police come in and take it we don’t get anything back.”

In the case of an estranged military spouse, Wagner said those kinds of sales are common, but he sees even more cases of family members selling items for other motives. And in many cases, the family member whose property is in question will forgive and forget, making it hard for the pawn shop to seek reimbursement.

“The sad part is most of the time the family member drops the case,” Wagner said.

Wagner said he’s seen his share of suspicious sales, especially when clients come in with an excessive amount of issued military gear.

“We’ve had a couple instances like a truck full of brand-new military boots,” Wagner said. “When it’s something that you’re only issued one of, that’s the clear signs but that’s really it.”
Rodgers’ bond was set at $15,000 and she remained in custody as of late Wednesday, according to VineLink.

She is scheduled to appear in Onslow County district court on May 8 for these charges, according to N.C. Courts.

Wagner jokingly gave advice to people wanting to pawn items, saying, “Don’t sell stolen stuff.”

Source: http://www.jdnews.com/news/20180419/military-gear-makes-it-way-through-pawn-market

One suspect charged in purchase order scam

April 19, 2018

By Kenneth Russell

The Odessa Police Department has made one arrest in connection with a purchase order scam involving the theft of oilfield equipment, automotive parts and tires from several local businesses, with more arrests expected.

Kenneth Randall Russell, 32, was charged at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after a theft was reported earlier that day by Loving Electric Company, where Russell was employed, an OPD news release stated. Russell reportedly made two purchase orders from suppliers totaling more than $10,000.

The items consisted of copper wire and miscellaneous tools, the release detailed. Russell was later found and interviewed by detectives, where he admitted to appropriating the stolen property and selling it to pawn shops and metal scrap yards.

Police charged Russell with theft of property, a state jail felony.

Jail records show Russell was taken to the Ector County Detention Center Thursday. No bond was set as of Thursday morning.

OPD Spokesman Steve LeSueur said Russell is connected to a number of recent felony theft reports from local businesses involving current or former employees filling out purchase orders with fake names and fake account numbers.

The suspects are then selling or pawning the stolen property, the release stated, with one case involving about $30,000 worth of stolen tires.
LeSueur said more arrests are expected in the investigation.

OPD is encouraging local businesses to check identification cards and verify all information while completing purchase orders, and anyone with information regarding any of these recent cases is encouraged to contact OPD at 432-333-3641 or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS.

Source: http://m.oaoa.com/news/crime_justice/law_enforcement/article_58416676-440b-11e8-9eb7-ff122c3d9871.html?mode=jqm

Property crime spike prompts for designated police unit

April 9, 2018

By Abby Paeth

Last September, Morgan Leopold, senior in Media, and Alaina Murphy, senior in Business, became victims of a property crime when their house in Champaign was robbed.

This property crime was one of 2,223 reported in Champaign in 2017. The number is part of a recent spike in property crimes.

In 2016, 2,981 property crimes were reported in Champaign, which increased by 53 percent from the previous year, according to the Champaign Police Department.

In Illinois, 262,306 property crimes were reported in 2016, according to the Disaster Center, and 7,919,035 property crimes were reported in the U.S., according to the FBI. Both the Disaster Center and the FBI have not released the statistics for 2017.

According to the FBI, a property crime includes burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson and personal property theft.

Leopold said the perpetrator came into their house in Champaign between midnight and 5 a.m. She believes the perpetrator came in through the downstairs front window, which is usually left unlocked.

A cell phone, a wallet, a GoPro camera and several purses were taken from the house. Leopold, Murphy and two other roommates were asleep in the residence at the time. They reported the property crime to the police that morning, but the perpetrator was never found.

“I personally was really freaked out at first,” Leopold said. “It just weirded me out that someone was in our house, and we had no clue.”

Murphy said the perpetrator took her wallet from her desk while she was asleep in the same room.

“Even today, I don’t feel as comfortable in my house as I did before,” Murphy said.

Since the crime, the residents are more careful about locking the house before they go to bed, Murphy said.

From 2005 to 2013, Champaign experienced a downward trend in the number of reported home and auto burglaries, according to the CPD. In 2013, Champaign saw the lowest number of property crimes reported in 27 years.

However, two years later, this rate started to increase again and in 2016, this number spiked to the highest number reported since 1999.

Because of this spike in property crimes, the city allocated $300,000 from its budget to start the Property Crimes Unit through the CPD. The unit came into existence on Oct. 1, 2017 and employs a small staff of detectives.

David Griffet, detective sergeant for the CPD, is the supervising detective for the Property Crimes Unit.

In addition, the Property Crimes Unit consists of two full-time detectives – Detective Jody Cherry and Detective Robert DeLong. These detectives dedicate all of their time to investigating property crimes, Griffet said. They follow up on as many leads as they can to catch repeat offenders in the area.

Cherry said in an email the unit has made over 80 felony arrests since its inception in October.

“We have seen a decrease in the number of reported burglaries since the inception of the unit, but it’s too early to attribute that solely to the effectiveness of the unit,” Cherry said.

Griffet said before the CPD received funding for the Property Crimes Unit, it was difficult to allocate resources within the police department to investigate property crimes.

Griffet credits the 2016 hike in property crimes to the lack of resources. Before the Property Crimes Unit existed, the police department did not have enough manpower or time to dedicate to just property crimes. Griffet said the crimes started getting out of control.

The Property Crimes Unit is only temporary, Griffet said. The city could not allocate enough money to fund the unit for more than a year.

“(Cherry and DeLong) are doing things that would normally not get done because we didn’t have those resources,” Griffet said. “These guys are diligently following up every lead that they can and going through these cases.”

Griffet said many property crimes are committed by repeat offenders. Having a unit designated to investigate these crimes helps find the people who continually get away with it.

“By giving two people the responsibility to investigate the majority of these crimes, they’re able to see all the reports that pertain to these offenses within the city of Champaign and their location,” Griffet said. “They can tie them together sometimes.”

As of March 5, the Property Crimes Unit has recovered about $60,000 worth of stolen property, according to Cherry. He said this number would not have been as high if it weren’t for the unit.

Often, the Property Crimes Unit gets information from local pawn shops. Griffet said it’s likely that a perpetrator will sell stolen items to pawn shops in the area.

Leonard’s Pawn and Jewelry, 112 E. University Ave., helps the Property Crimes Unit by reporting every item it buys to a database. The store uses a service called Law Enforcement Automated Database Search Online, or LeadsOnline, after it buys items to resell in the store.

“Pawn shops are required by state law and city ordinance to report all property taken in on pawn or purchased,” Cherry said. “They must provide the police department with a list of that property within 24 hours, and they have to hold it for a minimum of 72 hours before they can resell it.”

After buying an item to resell in the store, an employee at Leonard’s uploads the report to LeadsOnline. From there, the Property Crimes Unit can link specific items that were reported stolen to items bought or pawned. Local businesses can access LeadsOnline for free; however, the CPD has an annual subscription that costs $8,627 per year. That money is taken from the $300,000 budget allocated to the unit.

Ron Bryant, owner of Leonard’s Pawn and Jewelry, said that every day after he closes up his shop, he submits a report to LeadsOnline. The Property Crimes Unit can then search stolen items and trace them back to whoever stole the items using the identification reported to the database. Bryant estimates that perpetrators sell stolen items to the store about eight to 12 times per year.

Bryant has been using LeadsOnline in his store for the past four months, after the police department approached him and recommended the service.

The only drawback, according to Bryant, is the police department recovers the stolen property and Bryant’s business loses money.

“Sometimes I’ve lost a couple thousand dollars and sometimes I’ve lost ten bucks,” Bryant said. “It hurts when you lose money. You lose sleep when you lose money.”

Cherry said this is usually solved by listing the pawn shop as a victim in the police report. That way, the shop will ultimately get reimbursed by the suspect if he is convicted.

Cherry said the majority of property crimes in his time investigating them have occurred because homes and cars are left unlocked. He estimates that about 75 percent of vehicle burglaries occur because the car was left unlocked, whereas unlocked homes account for about 25 percent of burglaries.

This is exactly what happened to Champaign resident Jeremy Hunt in February 2018.

Hunt said his son accidentally left the car keys inside Hunt’s car after retrieving his school bag the night before. When Hunt woke up early the next morning, his car was gone. Hunt said he was one of the first people outside in the morning after it snowed overnight. The perpetrators left footprints in fresh snow.

“I was able to follow the footprints of the folks and kind of trace their steps,” Hunt said. “They had been walking up to everybody’s front door and checking the front door and walking to everybody’s car and checking the cars up and down the entire street.”

Hunt said he could tell that two people were checking unlocked doors just by looking at the tracks. When the perpetrators got to his car, the footprints stopped.

Hunt filed a police report with the CPD that morning. He said the police followed up pretty quickly, but Hunt knew it might be a few days before he would see his car again, if he would see it at all.

Hunt said he didn’t want to wait for the police to get back to him, so he took matters into his own hands and reached out in Facebook groups to see if anyone had seen his car.

Someone a few blocks away noticed Hunt’s car parked in front of their house. The car was recovered, but not without some damage. The car’s radio was missing. Hunt said the damage cost him around $3,200, which was mostly covered by insurance.

Hunt said what really hurt, though, wasn’t the cost of the damage, but the fear of someone breaking in again.

“I’ve grown up here my whole life, and just to know that that would happen in my neighborhood, in a place where I grew up, it’s just disheartening,” Hunt said.

Hunt said his three children, ages six, eight and 10, were afraid for a while because they knew the perpetrators were checking for unlocked residences.

“It’s not fair to them especially,” Hunt said. “They don’t need to be worried about things like that.”

The perpetrators who stole Hunt’s car have still not been caught. Hunt said if he knows one thing for sure, it’s that he won’t ever forget to lock the door to his car or home again.

Griffet said most property crimes happen the same way Hunt’s car was stolen. The majority of perpetrators go door-to-door checking for property that is unlocked.

“A lot of people feel very violated and rightly so, but there are things that we can do to prevent some of that,” Griffet said. “You can keep your car locked. Don’t leave your belongings in plain view. Keep your private residence locked.”

Source: https://dailyillini.com/news/2018/04/09/property-crime-spike-prompts-for-designated-police-unit/

Police nab suspects in break-ins

April 8, 2018

By Corey Davis

Police have made more than a dozen arrests in connection to a series of break-ins to local homes and business since the beginning of the year, according to authorities.

Cpl. Brad Summerlin, public information officer for the Rocky Mount Police Department, said 13 suspects have been arrested in connection with numerous break-ins since January. Summerlin said the residential and commercial break-ins have been scattered throughout the city and not just in one specific area.

“It’s just been outstanding police work in getting this many individuals and being able to solve this many cases in such a short period of time,” Summerlin said. “Through the efforts of our criminal investigation division property crime detectives following up on all the evidence and the community, we’ve been able to solve a lot of these crimes.”

Summerlin said to help avoid potential break-ins, it’s important for people to lock their cars and house doors and windows and secure their valuables in their homes. Summerlin said people need to be vigilant about unfamiliar people riding around their neighborhoods or walking and hanging around late at night.
“Just anything in the area that looks suspicious, you should call us so we can investigate it further,” Summerlin said.

He also suggested that home and business owners who are the victims of break-ins go on Leadsonline, which is known as the nation’s largest online investigation system.

“You can register your information online. If (anything is) ever was stolen – with the serial number, that can help us track down your stuff faster and help in the aid and recovery of stolen merchandise,” Summerlin said.

Summerlin said people can call and schedule an appointment with the Rocky Mount police for free security surveys of their homes. Police also will do vacation house watches when people go out of town.

“As the weather become warmer, people have the tendency of not being in their homes as much,” Summerlin said. “We’re really making a conscious effort to do everything as far as educating the people in the public about certain things they can do.”

Source: http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/Police/2018/04/08/Police-arrest-suspects-in-series-of-break-ins.html

NW Gold Buyers pawn shop raided by police

March 31, 2018

By Caleb Hutton and Eric Stevick

MONROE – On a billiards table in the center of the pawn shop’s back room, police pulled up a white sheet to reveal enough probiotics, Claritin and pregnancy tests to stock a pharmacy aisle.
Cardboard boxes full of pills, from Allegra to Zyrtec, lined the walls of the store. Many still had QFC tags.

Monroe police believe the owner of NW Gold Buyers knew he’d been fencingthousands of dollars in shoplifted goods online over the past two years.

On Friday morning, a half-dozen officers raided the business in a strip mall on Highway 99, the climax of a two-year investigation that led officers from the owner’s defunct pawn shop in Monroe to his new storefront near Lynnwood.

Police dumped a mound of Flonase bottles onto the floor in a back room, sifting through them for signs that they were obviously stolen.
“Whoa!” an officer said. “The fair market value is $2,500 for that box.”

At first they expected to be in the store all day, making an exhaustive inventory. Once they saw the scope of the task, they decided to bring all of the merchandise back to the police station, to add it up later. They picked things off shelves, off the pool table and out of the moving boxes.

Online ads say NW Gold Buyers will pay “top dollar” for jewelry, coins, watches and silver. Search warrant papers say the owner was, in reality, often offering 12 to 20 percent of retail value for razors, medications and other items that could be concealed and stolen en mass from legitimate stores. Customers showed up to sell, not to buy. The merchandise was kept behind a locked door. The business had a core of about 20 people who would sell goods, officer Nathan Erdmann said.

“It was all a front,” Erdmann said. “At the other one, he actually had stuff for sale up front, but that wasn’t what this business was about.”

The case began because of a missing vacuum cleaner. Theft prevention workers at a hardware store reported the possible theft in January 2016, and relayed that a new pawn shop in Monroe might be taking stolen goods. Erdmann studied security video from the vacuum case. He recognized the suspect as an often-homeless heroin user. He checked an online database and noticed “odd transactions that were not typical of items that would be purchased by a pawn shop,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

Rogaine, Nicorette, teeth-whitening kits, electric toothbrushes as well as memory supplements, allergy medication, routers and electric razors were standard fare. Other local businesses reported a spike in thefts of health and beauty products.

Hints that a large-scale investigation was under way can be found in 2-year-old arrest reports. One Monroe man, then 29, admitted in 2016 to stealing electric razors to pawn so he could buy heroin. He’d made 59 transactions for more than $7,600 at One Stop Pawn Shop over three months. He told officers he typically received 30 percent the product’s worth, indicating his theft total during that time was about $22,000.

Police worked closely with local businesses, enlisted undercover officers from other agencies, interviewed theft suspects and used confidential informants during the course of the investigation. Thieves told police they were making a beeline to the One Stop Pawn Shop.

Police believe the goods were sold online, on Amazon or eBay.

One Stop Pawn was closing in the fall of 2016, when Erdmann paid the owner a visit. Near the end of the chat, Erdmann shared his suspicions.

“I told him that the stores in Monroe were cleaned out of many of the items that he was buying because there was so much theft,” he wrote, in the affidavit for the search warrant that was served Friday. “I told him that if he was not already closing down his business I would be coming after him and find some way to charge him, because no reasonable person could look at the things he was buying and not know (they were) stolen … I asked if that made sense, and he acknowledged that it did.”

Even after the business was shuttered, Erdmann kept a watchful eye. He learned that the suspect would meet at night in and around Lynnwood with people wanting to sell bags of stolen goods.
A confidential informant reported being given specific lists of items to steal, including Prevagen, Viviscal, Crest 3D Luxe and Alli, an over-the-counter weight loss pill.
In February 2017, the new business was registered in a triangular strip mall on Highway 99, between Everett and Lynnwood.

Video surveillance showed people waiting in parking lots late at night for the pawn shop owner to drive up in a Mercedes to conduct business.

One confidential informant told police the owner was getting nervous, inquiring about any possible connection to Monroe and saying he’d heard there might be a rat.

Police noticed an extremely high volume of traffic into the store by a small number of people. One man made 85 sales since October 2017. A woman had more than 90 transactions during the same period. In the online database, almost all of the transactions were listed as gift cards.

The suspect “has a common practice of entering transactions as the purchase of a gift card or multiple gift cards, when it is obvious that a large amount of unknown items is actually brought in,” Erdmann wrote. “Additionally, the frequency with which the same people routinely visit the store, taking bags and bags of items in on an almost daily basis, and sometimes twice in a day, would lead any reasonable person to question whether the items were legitimately obtained.”

Police believe the store had taken in about $428,000 in revenue.

Outside the store, officers handcuffed the owner, 22, and booked him into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of attempted trafficking in stolen property.

His father and sister arrived at the strip mall minutes later. They declined to talk at length with a reporter, and instead waited and watched as officers loaded power drills and robotic vacuums into the trunks of their police SUVs

Source: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/nw-gold-buyers-pawn-shop-raided-by-police/

Rob Gronkowski: Second Arrest Made in Home Burglary

March 27, 2018

Another guy allegedly connected to Gronk’s home burglary has turned himself in and is behind bars … TMZ Sports has learned.

As we previously reported … Gronkowski’s house was burglarized on February 5 while he was in Minnesota for the Super Bowl.

Law enforcement tells us 28-year-old Eric Tyrrell turned himself in to Foxborough Police Tuesday afternoon … after being sought for two counts of receiving stolen property. He’s being held on $10,000 cash bail.

Another man, Anthony Almeida, 31, was arrested last Friday for B&E Nighttime, two counts of Receiving Stolen Property, and Malicious Destruction of Property.

Police say they recovered an Apple Watch, a Rolex, and 2 rare coins. They are still looking for multiple firearms that were taken.

FYI — Gronk PERSONALLY made the 911 call … saying “This isn’t an emergency … this is just uh, Rob Gronkowski calling. And while I was gone, my whole house got robbed while on the Super Bowl trip and I just got back.”

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2018/03/27/rob-gronkowski-second-arrest-home-burglary/

Police: Most stolen items end up in pawn shops

March 1, 2018

By Katy Andersen

BECKLEY/PRINCETON, W. Va. (WVNS) – It’s become far too common, your stolen items ending up in pawn shops.

“We inescapably end up with stolen property from time to time,” said Ron Wood, the owner of Flat Top Arms Incorporated in Beckley.

Wood has been in business for 18 years and says he’s seen an influx in the amount of stolen items coming into his shop. “You don’t want to have items that are stolen. You are going to end up losing money plus your reputation,” Wood said.

Chad Butler, who is a Detective with the Princeton Police Department, said stolen items ending up in pawn shops is a huge problem in Princeton. “Seems like everything that gets stolen ends up in a pawn shop,” Butler said.

Butler said it’s thieves trying to get a quick buck for a quick fix. So every week, he compiles a list of stolen items and then checks the entire store of the 4 pawn shops in the Princeton area. “Tools is the number one- people leave a lot of tools in their vehicle and out buildings,” Butler said.

This is a problem law enforcement in Beckley said they are also battling. “A pretty large majority of stolen items at some point find there way into a pawn shop,” Detective David Allard, with the Beckley Police Department, said.

Allard is also combing through local pawn shops for stolen items, but instead of doing it by hand like Detective Butler, he does it online through a nationally used database called Leads Online.

By law, all pawn shops in Beckley must enter every item they receive into the database. That includes the seller’s information along with the item’s manufacturer, a description and serial number.Then when an item is reported stolen, law enforcement can enter that information and hopefully find it.

“The more information we have when a person reports a crime, the more likely hood we will solve the case,” Allard said.

But not every agency is able to search through Leads Online because of it’s price tag. The program costs each department thousands of dollars.

Whether it’s by hand or online, both Detective Allard and Butler said they’ve recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen items from area pawn shops.

As for Wood at Flat Top Arms, he said they’re constantly working with police to make sure stolen items don’t end up in his shop- or your home.

“There are a few times that we virtually know,” Wood said. “If you bring me a stolen item and we find out it’s stolen one time, you won’t ever bring me anything else.”

Police said the biggest problem they run into is when people report something stolen but they do not have the item’s serial number, which is crucial when trying to prove the item is yours. They recommend you go around your home and write down the serial number for big ticket items, especially guns and tools.

Also, they said do not wait to file a police report. As soon as you realize something is missing, call your local law enforcement.

Stolen shotgun suspect arrested 9 years after theft

February 23, 2018

By Camila Orti

OMAHA, Neb. – A stolen weapon case sat in a filing cabinet with no leads for nearly a decade until there was a breakthrough this week.

The La Vista Police Department located a gun and the suspect involved, nine years later, thanks to a national database.

Detective Harold Rappold received an interesting notification Wednesday.

“The hit was for a stolen shotgun, and the description, the serial number, everything matched,” Rappold said.

The computer program and national database, Leadsonline, flagged a sale at Guns Unlimited of a shotgun that had been stolen from Cabela’s.

“It shows the entire transaction,” Rappold said.

Rappold tracked down and cited the former Cabela’s employee, who admitted to the crime.

“First words out of his mouth were that he was young and dumb and was going to take responsibility for his actions,” Rappold said.

La Vista police, along with Omaha and other metro agencies have been using this online tool for nearly two years.

“Just in the short time we’ve had it, we’ve had several cases we’ve been able to solve using the Leadsonline program,” Rappold said.

Pawn shops take down the seller’s information, a photo, along with other information and enter it into the database.

“We take a picture of your ID, take a picture of yourself and take a picture of the product,” John Dineen with Sol’s Jewelry & Loan said.

Dineen said they even get your fingerprints to help law enforcement track down the individual or individuals involved.

“We don’t want those items coming into to us but if they do we want to get them back to their rightful owners right away,” Dineen said.

A city ordinance requires pawn shops to participate in the program.

Sol’s and other shops are hopeful the ordinance will be expanded so all secondary buyers will have to comply.