DALLAS–LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – Detective Debbie Ingram of the Bellevue Police Department knows about stolen property and forgery. She’s spent her share of time beating the street. But today the detective and hundreds of others throughout the Northwest simply log on to their computers to access information on more than 120 million transactions at pawnshops, second hand stores, scrap yards and even eBay.
LeadsOnline (www.leadsonline.com) is the technology used by more than 670 law enforcement agencies, including many in Oregon and Washington, and dozens more are signing up each month.
The Internet-based system makes it possible for detectives to search for criminals who may have disposed of stolen goods in pawn and secondhand stores across the country. Detectives may find a Rolex from Portland in a store in Las Vegas, or a gun from Seattle in a store in Boise.
Although most pawn customers are pledging their own property, real-time access to electronic records in a criminal investigation speeds up the process that used to be handled through a time-consuming collection of paper slips and store visits.
Police say the instant access to information gives citizens a better chance of having their stolen property recovered.
In Tacoma, Detective Chris Taylor is a seasoned veteran with more than 32 years on the job. His department and 27 others in Washington use LeadsOnline. It’s made him a firm believer in the value of online investigative tools.
“It’s accessible 24 hours a day, and the more agencies that are online, the better chance citizens have of getting their stolen property back. It helps every department clear cases faster, and the retailers find it helpful to them in complying with their own reporting requirements,” Taylor says.
Crimes of all kinds are being solved with the technology. U.S. Marshals deputies and Corpus Christi Police investigators used LeadsOnline to identify two men who brutally murdered a man in his doorway and stole several items from his home. By searching transaction records within a radius of the crime scene, a description of the victim’s jewelry and the name of the person who sold the items were right there online, bringing the case to a speedy close.
The system is accessible only by authorized law enforcement investigators. Agencies that are not yet users can access the system through the www.leadsonline.com website and receive a 30 day trial.
“Crimes get solved every day by agencies that are trying out the system. Detectives using it can provide hope for victims like never before,” says Dave Finley, LeadsOnline CEO.
To the Media: To learn more about LeadsOnline or to speak with a detective using the system, contact Connie Holubar at [email protected], or call 800 311 2656.