Stolen guns can bring bigger crimes

April 3, 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

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.

Pennsylvania AG rounds up 32 in alleged pawn shop theft ring based in Bucks County

March 1, 2018

By James O’Malley

Staff at two Bucks County pawn shops and more than two dozen “professional” thieves face conspiracy charges in alleged large-scale theft ring.

One owner of two Bucks County pawn shops, four of his employees and 27 “professional retail thieves” have been charged as part of an alleged large-scale theft ring the attorney general says preyed on people with addictions to turn a profit.

The state Office of Attorney General on Thursday alleged 35-year-old Michael Stein’s pawn shops Quick Cash Trading Post, in Middletown, and Morrisville Loan & Pawn Shop, in Falls, purchased for resale some $689,000 in merchandise stolen from chain retail stores.

Stein and his employees Victor Kline Jr., Lyle Lazar Boden, Joshua Fedalen and Brian Ernest Jancia dealt directly with the 27 accused of the thefts between January 2014 and October 2017, says a grand jury presentment, paying 30 percent or 40 percent of the items’ retail value and then selling the items for a profit online.

Known within the conspiracy as “boosters,” each of the theft suspects stole from stores on an almost-daily basis to support addictions to heroin and opioids, according to the grand jury.

The presentment says the broader investigation continues probing a larger ring of five stores “operating nominally as pawn shops” in Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

“We are not done,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Thursday morning at the Falls municipal building, adding the investigation is ongoing and remains “very active.” He declined to comment when asked if more arrests were imminent.

Shapiro said Stein’s operation preyed on the drug addictions of the boosters, who he described as “professional retail thieves.” The 27 suspects have been charged with counts of retail theft and conspiracy.

“It doesn’t excuse their criminal behavior, but we’re working very hard to get them into treatment,” Shapiro said.

Stein, of Middletown, was arraigned before District Judge Jan Vislosky on counts of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. He was released on 10 percent of $50,000 bail.

His attorney Ryan Becker urged reporters after the arraignment to “look at the charges.”

“He’s not accused of stealing anything,” he said. “He’s only accused of not knowing the people he was dealing with had stolen these things.”

Kline, 46, of Philadelphia; Boden, 29, of Philadelphia; Fedalen, 26, of Sharon Hill, Delaware County, and Jancia, 28, of Holmes, Delaware County, all were arraigned Thursday on counts of corrupt organizations, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Each was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Operating for years under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – if the seller didn’t say an item was stolen, the store purchased items without question — Klein and his employees routinely purchased various new, still-boxed items, including kitchen appliances, computer equipment and vacuum cleaners, prosecutors say.

In addition to purchasing items from people who previously had admitted committing retail thefts, the employees in many cases suggested the alleged thieves return the stolen item to the store for a gift card, which the pawn shops then purchased for 50 percent of face value, the grand jury presentment says.

The two pawn shops over time allegedly purchased nearly 5,000 items from “boosters,” paying them some $290,000 for the stolen items, according to prosecutors. The stores profited from resale to the tune of more than $470,000.

Investigators began looking into the alleged theft ring in April 2015 after loss prevention agents, noticing an increase in thefts and tracking stolen products to pawn shops including Stein’s, approached police in Falls, the presentment says.

Falls police used an informant to sell purportedly stolen goods and reviewed pawned items in the online database “LeadsOnline,” the grand jury says. Both Falls and Bristol Township require pawn shops to use the private database to track items. As the investigation expanded, police reached out to county detectives and later to the Office of Attorney General.

Reached Thursday, District Attorney Matthew Weintraub applauded the charges as the result of a collaborative effort.

“We’re very happy with the arrests and to be able to shut down this corrupt organization,” he said, noting that county detectives remain involved with the investigation. “This is certainly something that’s on our radar at present and in the future.”

Source: http://www.theintell.com/news/20180301/pennsylvania-ag-rounds-up-32-in-alleged-pawn-shop-theft-ring-based-in-bucks-county

Canon City Police encouraging residents to register valuables in database

March 7, 2018

By Jessica Barreto

If your phone or computer is stolen and you can’t provide a serial number on record, police may not be able to find them.

That’s why Canon City police are helping community members register valuables for free.

They’re partnering with an online company to store data about your property.

It’s a new way to keep track of your valuables — a safeguard in the event that something happens to them.

“It allows us to kind of track it down and track down those properties to help solve a crime,” said Detective Athena Garcia with Canon Police Department.

Canon City’s Police Department now subscribes to the service LeadsOnline which gives detectives critical information on missing and stolen items right at their fingertips.

Even though police have pay to use it, residents can register for free.

On the site reportit.leadsonline.com, you can catalog your valuables in case they turn up somewhere else, like a pawn shop.

“It kind of pinpoints where these items are pawned, who pawned them so we have a suspect in mind,” said Detective Garcia.

Every pawn shop in the state of Colorado is required to report its transactions and LeadsOnline simply uses that data to cross-check serial numbers with missing items.

If there’s a hit anywhere the country, police get an alert.

“By putting in the serial numbers, by having all that data available, specific identifiers, what models, serial numbers, everything helps us find those items,” added Detective Garcia.

Despite property crimes like burglaries dropping eight percent from 2016 to 2017, they still make up more than 75 percent of all crimes in Canon City compared to violent crimes.

But police say if you register your items, you can help solve your own case if they get stolen.

“The more people in the community that catalog their items, and write down the serial numbers, the easier it’s gonna be for us to be able to follow up on those cases,” said Sgt. Timothy Bell with Canon Police Department.

Source: http://www.koaa.com/story/37673830/canon-city-police-encouraging-residents-to-register-valuables-in-database

Paducah man arrested for allegedly pawning stolen firearms

February 16, 2018

By Krystle Callais

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — A Paducah man was arrested for allegedly selling stolen firearms.

On November 11, 2017, two handguns were reported stolen to the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department. The handguns were stolen from an unlocked car on Fairview Drive in Paducah.

The serial numbers of the guns were put into the national crime computer system as stolen.

On February 12, 2018, one of the handguns was sold at a local pawn shop.

Deputies say 21-year-old Rasheed Rashod Davonte Jones sold the stolen handgun.

The second handgun was found to have been sold at another local pawn shop.

Jones was arrested and charged with two counts of receiving stolen property-firearms.

Source: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/02/16/paducah-man-arrested-allegedly-pawning-stolen-firearms/

Helena man charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft

January 22, 2018

By Thomas Plank

A 21-year-old Helena man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of tools.

Tyler Thomas Ross Nelson is being charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and possession of burglary tools.

Nelson allegedly stole “Snap-On” hand tools, an air compressor and other tools from a garage from Jan. 9-16. Several of the tools were later discovered at a pawn shop.

Nelson was arrested after a search of his vehicle found tools fitting the description of those stolen from the garage, a pry bar, crowbars and a set of bolt cutters that are similar to those used in burglaries, according to court documents.

Source: http://helenair.com/news/crime/helena-man-charged-with-multiple-counts-of-burglary-theft/article_4f46d8bc-577a-5eaa-9d4d-5fad69562844.html

Suspect ID’d in jewelry theft

February 16, 2018

By Andy Morphew

A man out of Oklahoma City has been identified by Duncan Police as a suspect in last month’s robbery at Payne’s Jewelry.

John Dale Bradshaw is wanted in connection with the crime, which was reported Jan. 18, according to an affidavit filed in Stephens County Court.

The owner said five rings were missing. He reviewed security camera footage and observed a white male reaching over the counter and taking the display, which held five rings.

The Duncan Police Department shared the information with the Regional Organized Crime Information Center and, within the hour, received a call from a Nichols Hills officer.

The officer advised Duncan police that he was reasonably sure the male in the photo was John Bradshaw and was a target of an investigation of a similar crime a number of years ago.

With the reports from the Nichols Hill Police Department, Duncan police were able to search social media to find Bradshaw and see images resembling those from the alleged robbery.

After looking up Bradshaw, Duncan police searched a database of pawn shops and found a record of a John Bradshaw who pawned a 14-karat diamond ring in Oklahoma City the day after the robbery. The store confirmed that Bradshaw pawned the ring.

Taking a photo of the ring from the pawn shop, the owner of Payne’s Jewelry successfully identified the ring and gave a positive ID of Bradshaw after seeing a photo shown by police.

Another pawnshop owner in Texas called Duncan police Feb. 5 and said they had seen Bradshaw’s image and identified him as the man who had stolen about $4,000 to $5,000 in jewelry from the store in late January.

A felony warrant for Bradshaw has been issued for $25,000. He has been charged with grand larceny after former two or more felony convictions.

Source: http://www.duncanbanner.com/news/suspect-id-d-in-jewelry-theft/article_ac6df824-12cc-11e8-85a7-175a6faa638e.html

Redmond repeat burglary, theft suspect arrested again

January 14, 2018

A Redmond man who recently spent five years in prison on burglary and theft convictions was arrested Saturday after a report of thefts from several cars in northwest Redmond, police said. A raid of his home turned up guns, jewelry, coins and other items stolen in recent Bend and Redmond home and car burglaries, officers said.
Redmond police on Saturday received the report of thefts from several vehicles that had just occurred in the area of Northwest 10th Street and Birch Avenue, Sgt. Eric Beckwith said in a news release Sunday.

Residents said the suspect was seen leaving the area in a red Ford Explorer.

A Redmond officer found the Explorer and contacted Dennis Wayne Madden, 49, who Beckwith said had a window punch, a ski mask, gloves and other burglary tools.
Officers also found a purse belonging to a Redmond woman who reported it stolen the previous night, Beckwith said.

Police said Madden also matched the description of the suspect believed to be involved in several other thefts from vehicles where a window was broken to gain access to the contents.
After the arrest, Redmond police patrol officers and part-time Street Crimes Team members sought and received a warrant to search Madden’s home in the 2500 block of Southwest Cascade Mountain Lane, Beckwith said.

In the home, Beckwith said officers found items belonging to several victims of home burglaries and car break-ins in Bend and Redmond. The recovered items included three stolen firearms, jewelry, collector coins and a large number of small tools. Officers also found a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and other drug-related contraband, he said.

“It’s going to be an exhaustive process trying to match up all of the property with all of the victims that spans throughout Central Oregon, we believe including Bend and other areas,” Redmond police Sgt. Ryan Fraker told NewsChannel 21. “So that’s the process that we’re in right now.”

Madden was booked into the Deschutes County Jail in Bend Saturday afternoon on numerous theft charges as well as unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, ID theft, computer crime, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. He was held without bail on a parole violation.

“Madden has an extensive criminal history of burglary and theft, among other crimes,” Beckwith wrote in a news release. “He has taken advantage of many people in the Central Oregon area over the past decade. He recently served a five-year prison sentence for burglary and theft, related to a 2010 Redmond police investigation.”

At the time of the new crimes, he was on community supervision after his release from prison. Deschutes County Parole & Probation is assisting Redmond police with the investigation, Beckwith said.

“The Redmond Police Department has in our possession several known and suspected stolen items and will work hard to link the property seized during the search warrant to victims in the community,” the sergeant said.

Beckwith said police “would like to credit the detailed observations of the suspect and vehicle by theft victims for the arrest of Madden.” Also, detailed descriptions of stolen items and serial numbers in particular have led to linking Madden to other known thefts.

The sergeant reminded everyone to remove valuables from their vehicles, and urged people to itemize their property and record serial numbers and detailed descriptions.

To that end, Redmond police have partnered with LeadsOnline to assist community members with this essential task. Go to https://reportit.leadsonline.com/ to create an online account where a person can document property and serial numbers.

This information is only accessible by the account creator, not law enforcement, Beckwith said. In the event of a theft or other loss, data can be easily retrieved and provided to police for a report.

Source: http://www.ktvz.com/news/redmond-repeat-burglar-thief-arrested-again/685695083

Fort Wayne Police detective nets $1 million in recovered stolen property, from jewelry to Beanie Babies

January 23, 2018

When Fort Wayne Police detective Joseph Lyon saw four boxes of Beanie Babies in a pawn shop he knew they had to be hot.

“I looked at the manager and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’”

An hour later he got a call. Indeed, a woman had reported the day before that she’d had four boxes of Beanie Babies stolen.

“Guess what. You’re getting back your Beanie Babies,” he said.

The fabric toys that spawned a collecting frenzy a few years ago are part of the $1 million in stolen property that Lyon has recovered over the years, a rare accomplishment for a one-man show, he said.

How did he reach that Monday? “It’s one Xbox at a time. I just recovered one today.” Laptops are another item often snatched by thieves.

“Every 50 seconds in the U.S. a laptop is stolen,” said Lyon, who has cleared 848 stolen property cases.

Lyon has been responsible for finding stolen property in pawn shops and scrap yards since June 2011. He joined the Fort Wayne Police Department 22 years ago.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I saw 8 years old,” he said of becoming a police officer. “I’ve been living my dream every day.”

As one of the good guys, he uses a computer program called LeadsOnline. All Fort Wayne pawn shops and scrap yards, along with 21,000 businesses nationwide, record their transactions, including item serial numbers. When a victim reports a crime, information goes into the National Crime Information Center, which LeadsOnline looks at twice a day to find any hits on stolen merchandise sold to businesses.

Recording serial numbers and/or getting appraisals and photos of jewelry and reporting thefts as soon as possible are key to Lyon getting victims back their property.

“You think it’s a unique item,” Lyon said, “but there’s thousands sold. … But if I go in soon to a store with a photo, that’s probably your item.”

One business’ accountant noticed at tax time that it had a lot of sales but no corresponding money coming in. The business discovered an employee in charge of its inventory had been stealing jewelry over eight months, listing items as sold but taking them to pawn shops to sell, Lyon said. He was able to recover $129,000 worth of the jewelry including diamond rings and a necklace his wife liked, “But I didn’t have $19,000 lying around to buy it for her.”

He’s “recovered a musical instrument so rare that even the Philharmonic doesn’t own one,” he said.

He’s also found a 1952 amplifier valued at $12,000 that was stolen from a music store.

Lyon has seen three waves of narcotics in Fort Wayne during his time on the force, first crack, then meth and now heroin/opioids. This is the worst, he said. Police chief Steve Reed said Monday during a news conference on 2017 crime reports that much of the thefts going on here and nationwide are fueled by addicts stealing to buy drug.

“They’re so interested in getting that fix,” Lyon said, “they give the items to their dealer … Now when it reaches a shop, it’s passed through a couple of hands.”

The local shops are very cooperative with police.

“They don’t want to take in stolen items,” Lyon said. “… They’re one of the most regulated industries.”

One recently called him to say “We just took in something off the street because we knew it was hot. Come get it.”

Lyon guesses that only 0.1 percent of pawn shop/scrapyard transactions involved stolen items, and tracing the criminals is easier now that the shops require photo identification with a person’s name and date of birth and thumbprints. However, criminals making the transactions don’t always think those things through, which benefits Lyon’s work.

Some criminals sell stolen merchandise directly, and a number of social media apps end with buyers finding that the cell phones they’ve bought have been reported stolen.

If Lyon finds the stolen items before a victim files a claim, he’ll take a photo and process it into the police department’s property room, after which the victim is called to pick up the items. The judicial system allows a photo of the item to be used in court cases, so the victims don’t have to wait months or years for the return of the property.

If victims have filed an insurance claim, Lyon calls the company. If it doesn’t want it he’ll ask if they don’t want it if he can return it to the victim, and the answer is often yes. If it says no, the item goes back to the pawn shop.

Lyon recommends:

– Get jewelry appraised, during which photos will be taken.

– Take photos or make a list of serial numbers.

– Put photos or the list of serial numbers of your items on a thumb drive, not your laptop, which would likely be among items stolen. Store the thumb drive in a safe place that won’t be lost in a fire or tornado.

– Record your items and photos on LeadsOnline’s ReportIt section, which has free storage for photos, serial numbers and receipt scans. Go to https://reportit.leadsonline.com.

– Do a walk-through of your home after having visitors such as a cleaning lady or that cousin you haven’t seen in a while who just shows up. Otherwise, it might be months before you notice something is missing. By then, your stolen item may have passed through several hands and can’t be traced.

Source: http://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local-news/2018/01/23/fort-wayne-police-detective-nets-1-million-in-recovered-stolen-property-from-jewelry-to-beanie-babies/

NCSO uses online technology to recover stolen property

January 19, 2018

By Michael Johnson

HOLBROOK — The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) is using the internet to help burglary victims recover their stolen property.

NCSO is using a service called LeadsOnline, an online investigation system used by law enforcement departments locally, statewide and nationally. It’s a property tracking system that documents and reports items that are pawned and sold or transferred at multiple pawn shops throughout Navajo County, the State of Arizona and the Nation.

NCSO officials said they began using LeadsOnline in February 2010. The program was purchased and shared with all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County.

“This is an outstanding program. Utilized correctly, it is an extremely valuable tool for all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County,” said Sheriff K.C. Clark.

During the past several months, Clark says deputies have recovered “thousands of dollars worth of stolen property” by using the LeadsOnline technology.

On Jan. 8, for example, NCSO officials say they recovered a Rolex watch with an appraisal value of $34,000. The watch was photographed, documented and returned to its owner, who NCSO did not identify.
Deputies investigating a burglary at a business west of Snowflake used LeadsOnline to ID a suspect and recover several stolen pieces of property. Chief Deputy R.D. Moffitt said that suspect, who has not yet been publicly named because there are additional arrests pending, allegedly admitted to his involvement.

The system also helped deputies find additional stolen property, including $71,000 worth of computer and software equipment that the Snowflake business uses to run its machinery.

Not only is it useful in getting stolen property back to its rightful owner, but LeadsOnline, he said, is the link between investigators and missing items or individuals who may turn out to be instrumental in solving a homicide.

“It is truly a proud moment for that deputy, officer or detective when he or she can contact the victims of a theft or burglary and advise them that their stolen property has been recovered and the suspect identified, and his or her arrest is pending,” Clark said.

Source: http://www.wmicentral.com/news/latest_news/ncso-uses-online-technology-to-recover-stolen-property/article_21421638-c496-5b45-b767-c249ad43394c.html

NCSO uses online technology to recover stolen property

January 1, 2018

By Michael Johnson

HOLBROOK — The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) is using the internet to help burglary victims recover their stolen property.

NCSO is using a service called LeadsOnline, an online investigation system used by law enforcement departments locally, statewide and nationally. It’s a property tracking system that documents and reports items that are pawned and sold or transferred at multiple pawn shops throughout Navajo County, the State of Arizona and the Nation.

NCSO officials said they began using LeadsOnline in February 2010. The program was purchased and shared with all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County.

“This is an outstanding program. Utilized correctly, it is an extremely valuable tool for all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County,” said Sheriff K.C. Clark.

During the past several months, Clark says deputies have recovered “thousands of dollars worth of stolen property” by using the LeadsOnline technology.

On Jan. 8, for example, NCSO officials say they recovered a Rolex watch with an appraisal value of $34,000. The watch was photographed, documented and returned to its owner, who NCSO did not identify.

Deputies investigating a burglary at a business west of Snowflake used LeadsOnline to ID a suspect and recover several stolen pieces of property. Chief Deputy R.D. Moffitt said that suspect, who has not yet been publicly named because there are additional arrests pending, allegedly admitted to his involvement.

The system also helped deputies find additional stolen property, including $71,000 worth of computer and software equipment that the Snowflake business uses to run its machinery.

Not only is it useful in getting stolen property back to its rightful owner, but LeadsOnline, he said, is the link between investigators and missing items or individuals who may turn out to be instrumental in solving a homicide.

“It is truly a proud moment for that deputy, officer or detective when he or she can contact the victims of a theft or burglary and advise them that their stolen property has been recovered and the suspect identified, and his or her arrest is pending,” Clark said.

Source: http://www.wmicentral.com/news/latest_news/ncso-uses-online-technology-to-recover-stolen-property/article_21421638-c496-5b45-b767-c249ad43394c.html

LeadsOnline aids in tracking suspect’s movements across state lines

“I first started using LeadsOnline in September, and we had a report on a brand new Cub Cadet stolen September 12th. I remember coming in on the 13th and seeing this report, so I ran the serial number and had a match within a second. That doesn’t sound that cool or exciting to some with years of experience, but to me, that was the best day of my life. I had only been doing investigations for a few months, and had just been released on my own, so it was my first solved crime thanks to you all. This was only the beginning, because my suspect appeared to be trying to break a record with how many trailers, dirt bikes, and lawn mowers he could steal and sell in the shortest amount of time. Needless to say, he was arrested shortly after and went to prison for a few short months, but I kept up with him and it wasn’t two weeks after he was released he was back at it harder than ever. It took a couple months for him to make his way back into Polk County, NC, where he went on another rampage and he was hitting us every other day. We chased him for months, along with other agencies from North Carolina, South Carolina, and even the US Marshals Service got involved once he pretty much kidnapped our CI. So yes, this was the most fun I’ve ever had on a case, and I got to meet and make great friends and contacts through those months. We were able to close out around 20 cases in the end. I’d like to say thank you and without you all at LeadsOnline, we would not have been able to keep up with and track his whereabouts long enough to get the other agencies involved and get him back in jail where he belongs. Also, I’d like to thank Rutherford county, NC, Cherokee County, SC, Greenville County, SC, and mainly Spartanburg city and county guys for the endless hours, car chases, search warrants, and helping get the Marshal’s Service brought in. Thanks again for everyone’s help, and I hope everyone has had the experience that I’ve had with LeadsOnline.”

Det. / Sgt. Jay Turney
Polk County NC Sheriff
North Carolina

Victim’s stolen tools returned after LeadsOnline revealed they were sold to two local business

“A burglary occurred where several tools were stolen from a shed. The victim could only speculate that one of her neighbors was the suspect, due to past interactions and side work. I ran the suspect’s name through LeadsOnline and sure enough, he had sold those specific tools at two area businesses. Upon further investigation, another neighbor actually saw the suspect back into the victim’s driveway the day of the burglary. Of course, with all of them being neighbors, our witness didn’t think much of it.
Because of the cooperation between the businesses and LeadsOnline, we were able to obtain warrants on our suspect and return the stolen items to our victim.”

Sgt. Kevin Hoffman
York City SC PD
South Carolina

Investigation into stolen Kindle Fire leads to recovered jewelry as well

“I was following our agency’s Person of Interest list. A known drug addict had recently sold a Kindle Fire at our local Cash Land. With further investigation into this suspect, I was able to determine that the Kindle Fire was indeed stolen. It also led to locating jewelry that had been stolen and sold by this same suspect. With the investigative tool of LeadsOnline, I was able to recover these items, return them to the victim, and bring charges against the suspect.”

Det. Nathan Huebner
Van Wert County OH Sheriff
Ohio

Burglaries ended by Detectives use LeadsOnline to find their suspect

“A few months back, we had a rash of residential burglaries. There was one suspect tied to several different homes. We caught the guy by running the stolen items’ serial numbers in LeadsOnline. Just about every item he stole, he would sell it at nearby businesses. LeadsOnline is a great tool. My department uses it very, very frequently. I would totally recommend any Law Enforcement agency to get linked up with LeadsOnline.”

Det. Billy Mccauley
St. Landry Parish LA Sheriff
Louisiana

LeadsOnline helps recover stolen iPads several states away

“With the help of LeadsOnline, I located two more stolen iPads which were sold out of state. The suspects lives in Florida and traveled to Mississippi on two separate occasions to pawn the stolen IPads. 13 iPads were initially stolen and, with the help of LeadsOnline, 3 have been located so far.”

Det. Gilbert Galloway
Pensacola FL PD
Florida

Detective follows lead and returns wife’s jewelry to widower

“An individual contacted my office saying they had information on a male that was breaking into houses and taking items. I was informed that the male had sold several items taken from a house in the southern part of Shreveport, Louisiana; however, he did not know the address. I looked up the male on LeadsOnline and found the items I was told came from a burglary. I used the items to locate a victim. The day the victim’s house was broken into was the same day his wife passed away. The victim was so happy he was in tears to get his wife’s jewelry back. Thanks to LeadsOnline, I was able to verify the information I was given and make an arrest in this case and make a man very happy to get his belongings back.”

Det. Melissa James
Shreveport LA PD
Louisiana

LeadsOnline reveals over 400 sales in suspect’s history

“League City and surrounding agencies have had several thefts and burglaries of optometry businesses over the past year. During the investigation, I was able to identify a suspect now known as the “SUNGLASS BANDIT”! A check of LeadsOnline showed that since June of the previous year, the suspect traveled the state stealing sunglasses and selling them in the areas where he steals them. According to LeadsOnline, the suspect had sold 427 sunglasses at 88 different businesses for a value of $22,000. A warrant for his arrest has been issued and he will soon be placed into custody.”

Det. Recie Tisdale
League City TX PD
Texas

Chief Investigator finds lead on stolen item before the initial report had been completed

“I was walking through the patrol room and overheard a complainant tell an officer about his stolen laptop computer. I obtained the serial number, brand name, and model and decided to check LeadsOnline. I had obtained a hit on the stolen computer and suspect information before the initial report was completed.”

Chief Inv. Barry Smith
Pass Christian MS PD
Mississippi

Collaboration between cities leads to identifying three stolen chainsaws

“Detective Joseph Lyons, of the Fort Wayne PD, called me yesterday and advised me of possible stolen chainsaws at businesses in his city. I contacted the victim and was able to identify three of his chainsaws on LeadsOnline. Great collaboration between agencies and of course it could not have been done without LeadsOnline!”

Det. Stacy Sexton
Auburn IN PD
Indiana

LeadsOnline provides lead for Detective and results in closure of multiple cases

“I was able to locate multiple items of stolen property related to several vehicle break-ins and a B&E. Locating this property was the only lead I was able to obtain in this case. By doing so, 3 cases will be closed by arrest and 5 victims will be able to have some of their property returned to them.”

Det. Matthew Davila
Miami Township OH PD – Milford
Ohio

A single check of LeadsOnline leads to identifying twelve stolen items

“After a recent overdose in our town, our investigation led us to the name of female who was also a drug user. After interviewing her parents, it turned out they had spoken about numerous items that had been stolen from their residence but never reported to police. After a check of Leadsonline, it was confirmed the missing / stolen items from the parents’ house had been sold by their daughter. Regarding this case, I was able to ID 12 items. Leadsonline is the best!”

Det. Robert Deko
North Branford CT PD
Connecticut

Detective locates stolen camera that also leads to victim’s stolen truck

“We had a residential burglary where the suspect took a Cannon camera and escaped in a truck stolen from the residence. The victim was able to supply us with a serial number for the camera. Once we entered the serial into LeadsOnline, the camera was immediately shown to be at a business. After recovering the camera and receiving the information on the person who sold it, it was just a drive to the residence of the person who sold it to recover the truck.”

Det. Eric Miller
Sandoval County NM Sheriff
New Mexico

Another classic case of iPad theft solved by LeadsOnline

“On one of our B&E the suspect took an iPad. When the owner got us the serial number I ran it through LeadsOnline. LeadsOnline found the item and suspect right away. The iPad was sent back to the owner and the suspect was arrested. Later he was found guilty in court.”

Sgt. James Kerney
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
North Carolina

LeadsOnline helps solve string of BB gun vandalism cases

“While investigating a string of BB gun vandalism cases, we were able to trace the suspect’s vehicle to a local Walmart. When reviewing the video from Walmart, it looked as though two college-aged males stole several BB guns and a hoverboard scooters. Loss Prevention at Walmart was able to identify the products, and a search was conducted for those items using LeadsOnline. LeadsOnline showed the scooter was located at a business, having been sold the very next morning after the theft, while an air rifle was sold later in the afternoon at another business. This information was extremely helpful in identifying the suspects and taking them into custody where both males admitted to committing the thefts, the pawn transactions, and the numerous counts of vandalism.”

Det. William Jarrett
Port St. Lucie Police Department
Florida

Two suspects, two backpack blowers, two arrests solved withing two days

“I had two different cases where $500 backpack blowers were stolen and sold on the same day of the theft. One blower was sold locally and the other blower was sold in another county. There were two different suspects involved in the cases. With the help of LeadsOnline the blowers were located and returned to the owners within two days of the theft.”

Det. Gilbert Galloway
Pensacola Police Department
Florida

T-Mobile employee gets caugth selling $22,000 work of cellphones

“While I was working with the repeated transaction function, I discovered an individual selling multiple brand new cell phones to several ecoATM machines. During the investigation, I learned that the subject was an employee of T-Mobile and was stealing the phones and selling them. He sold over 30 cell phones In 1 month. Total property recovered was over $22,000. He was confronted and admitted to the theft. T-Mobile did not have any idea that this was occurring.”

Det. Alan Koenig
Norfolk Police Department
Virginia

Team work makes the dream work for two departments in Illinois.

“St. Charles Police issued a bulletin looking for help to ID a suspect. The suspect looked familiar to me so I ran the name I thought it was through LeadsOnline but it came back negative. So I ran the stolen phone info and it came back with the actual suspect selling the stolen phone to ecoATM, as well as 22 others in the area. I notified St. Charles PD of the information and ended my involvement.”

Det. Rich Meszaros
Plainfield Police Department
Illinois

Suspect travels to neighboring state to avoid getting caught selling stolen property

“We were working a series of daytime residential burglaries and developed a suspect. Our agency was relatively new to LeadsOnline and I was just starting to utilize some of the features. I created a person of interest of our primary suspect and within days I received an alert. The suspect actually went across the river 90 minutes away and into the neighboring state to sell this item to a business. Without the POI alert from LeadsOnline, we likely would not have known that this occurred. With that information, and along with other facts gained during the investigation, a search warrant was executed and numerous burglaries were closed across several jurisdictions. One burglary was even discovered before the victim was aware of it since they were out of the country for their honeymoon”

Sgt. Yon Abel
Linn County IA Sheriff’s Department
Iowa

Suspect is sentenced to fifteen years for stealing a gun with sentimental value

“I worked a burglary in Charleston County where two guns and a weedeater were stolen at the end of 2015. A fingerprint was obtained at the scene and eventually came back to a suspect. Using LeadsOnline I was then able to quickly determine that the suspect had sold a matching gun at one business and then the weedeater at another business on the day of the burglary. The gun, which had been passed down to the victim by his father, was recovered but the weedeater was not due to the lapse in time. The suspect was arrested and eventually went to trial in April of 2017 where he received 15yrs for the burglary and 10yrs for obtaining goods by false pretenses.”

Det. Timothy McCauley
Charleston County Sheriff’s Department
South Carolina

Stolen Xbox gets recovered with the help of LeadsOnline

“Oue suspect sold an Xbox One to a local business that was stolen during a residential burglary. The suspect’s name was searched via LeadsOnline and we were able to find the stolen property. Thanks LeadsOnline!”

Det. Jess Thomas
Wood River Police Department
Illinois

Stolen property gets returned to it’s rightful owner within days of the crime

“In August, I was assigned a theft investigation that occurred within Indian River County, Florida. During my investigation I developed a suspect and determined that he had stolen one gold wedding band with “Happy Anniversary 1911” inscribed on the inside, one gold cross, one 14 karat white and yellow gold heart dolphin pendant, one yellow/white gold Greek style pair of earrings with one diamond on each earring, approximately $7.00 in quarters and one .22 caliber American Arms Revolver. With the victims item description and their records retention of the firearms serial number I was able to locate all stolen items at various businesss and return them to their rightful owner within days of being assigned this case. The suspect currently has warrants for his arrest.”

Dep. Aaron Scranton
Indian River County Sheriff’s Department
Florida

Next door neighbor gets caught selling stolen laptop

“I am investigating a residential burglary case and located the stolen laptop on your site. The next door neighbor sold it within two hours of the victim leaving her home. Thanks!”

Det. Paul Hulbert
Shorewood Police Department
Illinois

LeadsOnline reveals the suspect’s girlfriend sold the stolen property

“I have been investigating a burglary and located a person of interest. Throughout the investigation I was able to determine that the person of interest transferred property to his girlfriend who subsequently sold the items. I was able to determine this based on associate information through LeadsOnline. I was able to return the property to the victim.”

Cpl A. Calore
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department
South Carolina

LeadsOnline puts victim and his stolen bike back on track

“A bicycle was reported stolen and entered into NCIC. I ran the bike through LeadsOnline and found that it had been sold almost immediately after being stolen. A great tool that helped us charge the thief and get the property back.”

Det. Jeff Mellman
University of Northern Colorado
Colorado

LeadsOnline identifies missing girl and the suspects involved in the crime

“A local cellphone business was broken into and several phones and cash were stolen to the sum of $3,000.00. The suspects in the case left town along with a female believed to have been forced to go along with them against her will. Thanks to Leadsonline, I was able to locate them and obtain photos of the missing woman selling some of the stolen phones. By seeing the missing woman and knowing that she was ok, helped her family greatly.”

Det. Jay Myers
Findlay Police Department
Ohio

iPad thief is identified through LeadsOnline

“In July, Officer Randall was dispatched to a theft from a construction site. The victim advised he left his iPad on the fifth floor of the site. When he returned the next day he discovered a plywood wall kicked in and his property stolen. The investigator received photos that showed the tag number to suspect’s vehicle. Officer Randall ran the suspect through LeadsOnline and learned that he sold an iPad to an ecoATM machine. The victim gave the investigator the serial number, which matched the same serial number to the stolen iPad. Investigator Robeson sent Kroger a request to retrieve the item. An arrest warrant was issued for the suspect and the victim received his iPad.”

Lt. Brendon Barth
Atlanta Police Department
Georgia

An Xbox purchased with a stolen credif card

“Our suspect stole a credit card from a vehicle and went to Best Buy to purchase an Xbox. On the same day, the suspect sells the Xbox for the cash We were able to track his transactions and recover the Xbox, we were also able to reverse the charges to the victims credit card, and now the suspect will be arrested pending the final paperwork and other charges.”

Public Safety Supp. Spec. Elizabeth Vasquez
Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Arizona

An ex-girlfriend on probation is arrested for stealing her boyfreind’s Xbox

“I was investigating a theft where an Xbox was stolen from a residence by the victim’s ex-girlfriend. Luckily we had the serial number for the Xbox. The very next day LeadsOnline sent us a notification that the Xbox was sold to a local Gamestop. The Xbox was recovered and the suspect, who was already on probation, was arrested.”

Det. Marcella Mayo
Columbia County Sheriff’s Department
Florida

A contractors worst nightmare doesn’t end so bad after LeadsOnline locates his stolen tools

“I was given a theft report involving stolen tools. The victim is a contractor who hired several subcontractors to complete a renovation of a residence. The victim’s tools were stolen from the job site. Several names were given as suspects. I ran those names through LeadsOnline and was able to locate some of the stolen property. This case was only able to be closed with an arrest due to LeadsOnline.”

Det. Matthew Davila
Miami Township Police Department – Milford
Ohio

Officer able to recover stolen phones in under 48 hours by using LeadsOnline

“Our agency had a theft of cell phones from a local YMCA. This particular YMCA has had a significant amount of theft, which has often gone unsolved. A quick LeadsOnline check confirmed the phones, a total value of $500, had been sold to a nearby ecoATM. They were able to be removed from the machine before they were sent out! A suspect was quickly located and it was learned that his sister had stolen the items, which she later admitted to. Case closed in about 30 hours!”

Ofc. Ryan Utt
Gahanna OH PD
Ohio