Wanted Wednesday: Man wanted for petit theft and dealing in stolen property

May 6, 2020

By Briana Nespral

Gainesville, Fla. — A Gainesville man is wanted for allegedly dealing in stolen property. Now deputies want him off the streets.

Andrew Sanchez says he was going for a jog with his friends when he left his bike locked up on campus. Five hours later, his bike was gone. Alachua County deputies say 36-year-old Jasson Secreto cut the lock off and then sold it at a nearby pawn shop.

“I was upset that my bike was stolen obviously because I really liked my bike,” said Andrew Sanchez.

Deputies say Secreto went through all of this trouble for just $50 from the pawn shop.

“Fortunately, the owner had an identification tag from the university and they were able to track that bicycle back to the registered owner, who had not given the suspect permission to cut his bicycle lock and pawn this bicycle,” said Art Forgey, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

Luckily, at most pawn shops, all information is recorded in a statewide database that law enforcement has access to. This helped UFPD positively identify the thief.

“Obviously, with a drug and theft prior history, he has not reformed and he’s going to probably continue to take stuff that does not belong to him and pawn it or sell it until we can take him into custody where he won’t be able to do that,” said Forgey.

Jasson Secreto is 36 years old, 5’7″, and weighs about 180 lbs. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, you are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 352-372-STOP.

Source: https://mycbs4.com/news/wanted-wednesdays/wanted-wednesday-man-wanted-for-petit-theft-and-dealing-in-stolen-property

Feds want to seize luxury cars, jewelry from owner accused in pawn shop scheme

April 17, 2020

Rochester, N.Y. – The federal government is looking to seize four luxury vehicles and more than $150,000 from the owner of a Dewey Avenue pawn shop charged with re-selling stolen goods.

Devin Tribunella, owner of Royal Crown Pawn and Jewelry, is facing federal charges. Prosecutors allege Tribunella and other defendants recruited those suffering from opioid addiction to steal items from retailers. They allegedly bought the stolen items at a fraction of their retail value and then re-sold them online.

Prosecutors say Tribunella knew the items were stolen, and allegedly made false representations in eBay and Amazon user agreements, as well as on the LeadsOnline database.

Tribunella and a Royal Crown employee are accused purchasing and selling more than $3.2 million in stolen goods. Prosecutors say Tribunella used more than $2,995,000 in proceeds to buy items such sports cars and jewelry.

The government says it’s looking to seize the following from Tribunella:

A 2008 Lamborghini
A 2014 Rolls Royce
A 2014 Mercedes Benz
A 2015 Porsche 911
A Rolex watch
A Patek Phillipe diamond-encrusted watch
A gold Cartier bracelet
A 14-karat, 21-ct diamond tennis chain and tennis bracelet
A 14-karat diamond cross
A 14-karat, 41.5-ct. Diamond necklace
More than $148,000 from two PayPal accounts
More than $7,100 from a Canandaigua National Bank and Trust account

Tribunella is facing charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, selling and conspiring to sell stolen goods across state lines, engaging in financial transactions involving the proceeds of an unlawful activity and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

He was arrested back in November, along with four others, in connection with investigations tied to two separate pawn shops. Royal Crown employee Wade Shadders was also charged, while Thomas Nary, Eric Finnefrock and Ralph Swain were charged in connection with an investigation at Rochester Pawn and Gold. Nary owned that business, and Finnefrock and Swain were employees. Prosecutors say, between January 2015 and August 2019, the Rochester Pawn and Gold suspects resold nearly $12.5 million in stolen goods.

According to court documents, Royal Crown was allowed to remain open for a year, despite not having a valid license. Tribunella’s attorney, James Doyle, says the pawn shop remained open as the feds and police conducted an investigation.

“We’re talking about 16 months,” Doyle said in February. “If you’re saying this business was killing people with respect to overdoses, aren’t you complicit? Do you not have a part in that?”

Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan said the punishment is a ticket and a fine, and that police cannot shut down a business for such an offense.

Four local violations from breaking town code were dismissed against Tribunella in February. As part of the agreement, Tribunella is barred from operating a pawn shop in Greece without a valid license.

Source: https://13wham.com/news/local/feds-want-to-seize-luxury-cars-jewelry-from-owner-accused-in-pawn-shop-scheme

Sheriff’s Office puts new software to good use

By Hunter Diehl Challis

Patrol Cpl. Crissi Gilchrist with the Custer County Sheriff’s Department has had her hands on Leads Online for about four months, and she said the more familiar she gets with the tracking software the more she realizes what a valuable tool it is.

“Anything that’s been stolen, that we know has a serial number, can be entered into this system,” Gilchrist said.

“It already paid for itself in the first week we had it by getting all the stuff that was stolen from Allied,” Sheriff Stu Lumpkin said, referring to a Jan. 3 burglary at Allied Builders Supply in Challis.

Gilchrist said she got the serial numbers of what was stolen from the store, put them in Leads Online and almost immediately discovered they had been pawned in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by Zachary James. She contacted the Cheyenne Police Department and officers retrieved the stolen property and are holding it as evidence.

“We were able to hit the ticket the pawn shop entered and that’s how we knew he had taken those items,” Gilchrist said.

Since Leads Online was able to identify which pawn shop James used, Gilchrist said she was able to get in contact with the shop staff. They were able to supply video of James pawning the items, his current address, his phone number and driver’s license number.

“That’s the benefit of it,” Gilchrist said, referring to how quickly she was able to gather the information on James with Leads Online.

Sheriff Lumpkin said the price for using Leads Online was a little more $1,000 for a partial year subscription. However, he said it is so useful that he plans to make it a permanent addition to his crime-fighting arsenal.

Along with Leads Online, Lumpkin has also had Gilchrist explore other online ways of tracking stolen property. She has spent several weeks familiarizing herself with Carfax, a website that can find cars based on partial license plate numbers.

As time goes on, Lumpkin said he might have other deputies learn to use the new software. For right now, though, he said Gilchrist will take the lead with Leads Online and Carfax.

Hammond siblings accused of stealing, pawning parts from neighboring warehouse, charges say

March 13, 2020

By Meredith Colias-Pete

Two Hammond siblings face charges after allegedly being seen on camera pawning stolen parts from a neighboring warehouse, documents show.

Police allege they did so while living in an adjacent business unit owned by the woman’s boyfriend’s father who recently died, records say.

Amoreena Hall, 44, and Isreal Hall, 40, are charged with burglary and corrupt business influence, both level 5 felonies.

Hammond police arrived to write up a burglary report on the 8000 block of New Jersey Avenue in the business park south of the Borman Expressway. The owner said his business, Hydraulic Component Services, rebuilds hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical parts like pumps, motors, valves and cylinders, he told police.

He noticed brass and equipment missing from the “overflow” warehouse on six weekends between August 2017 and January 2018 including a grinder, air punch, air drill, two air grinders, and a cordless DeWalt drill, charges say.

After thinking an employee was stealing, he set up cameras, which showed a man “climbing up an electrical pipe” attached to the building’s side, removing a corrugated wall panel near the roof and dropping down into his unit, records say.

The owner told police the man lived in the building’s middle unit with another woman and man, charges say. That unit’s former owner, housing a “repair type business” had recently died, police said.

Since then, the son was “using the location as a place to stay” with girlfriend Amoreena Hall and her brother.

In the middle unit, police found a wall panel leading into the far unit, housing Meyer’s Distributors, which also said “numerous items” were stolen in the same time frame, charges say.

That panel was “removed and put back many times”, police said. Inside Meyer’s Distributors, there was access to a ceiling panel up to an attic that spanned the whole building. One the other end, another panel with a “makeshift ladder” dropped down to the Hydraulic Component Services unit, police said.

Through Leads Online, police found “virtually all” of the building’s stolen items sold or pawned to Scrap International, Lake Iron & metal, Super Pawn, EZ Pawn, charges say.

Police spotted Amoreena Hall, occasionally joined by Isreal Hall on camera at pawn shops selling the goods, documents allege. Hall’s boyfriend was not charged.

Both siblings have bonds set at $5,000 cash surety each.

Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/ct-ptb-hammond-warehouse-pawn-st-0314-20200313-tih4gvavuvgszcaodjiq6szqyq-story.html

The RealReal Helps Prevent Trafficking of Stolen Goods

March 12, 2020

By GLOBE NEWSWIRE

SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, The RealReal (REAL)—the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods—announced it has engaged with LeadsOnline, the nation’s largest online investigation service, to help law enforcement catch criminals who traffic in stolen luxury goods.

The RealReal has a long history of working with local, and where appropriate federal, law enforcement to assist in stolen property investigations. Today it is expanding those efforts to a national level to help prevent the trafficking and sale of stolen luxury goods.

Through the LeadsOnline platform, law enforcement officers now have visibility into The RealReal’s current inventory. Details including product descriptions, serial numbers, imagery, and the date and location of the consignment will all be accessible to verified law enforcement officers. Officers will also have a direct line of communication with The RealReal so the company can further assist with active investigations.

“Working with LeadsOnline to create national transparency around our inventory expands our ability to support law enforcement efforts to stop criminal traffickers of luxury goods,” said Rati Levesque, COO of The RealReal.

About The RealReal, Inc.
The RealReal is the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods. With a rigorous authentication process overseen by experts, The RealReal provides a safe and reliable platform for consumers to buy and sell their luxury items. We have 150+ in-house gemologists, horologists and brand authenticators who inspect thousands of items each day. As a sustainable company, we give new life to pieces by hundreds of brands, from Gucci to Cartier, supporting the circular economy. We make consigning effortless with free in-home pickup, drop-off service and direct shipping for individual consignors and estates. At our stores in LA, NYC and San Francisco, customers can shop, consign, and meet with our experts. At our 10 Luxury Consignment Offices, four of which are in our retail stores, our expert staff provides free valuations.

The RealReal Press Contact:
Erin Santy
Head of Communications
pr@therealreal.com

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/realreal-helps-prevent-trafficking-stolen-130010353.html

Sheriff’s office urging residents to use online service to register valuables

February 28, 2020

By Saul A. Flores

BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging all residents to use ReportIt.

ReportIt is a free, secure online service that allows citizens to record serial numbers and upload images for phones, electronics and other valuables.

MCSO said that the ReportIt service is a part of LeadsOnline, the online system that works with police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country to track and recover stolen property. MCSO uses LeadsOnline to help track and recover stolen property such as jewelry, sporting equipment, electronics, computers, cameras, designer clothing, collectibles and other items with invaluable personal worth. The system allows deputies to search for the items using a variety of parameters, concluding item descriptions and serial numbers.

When an item is sold to a pawn or second-hand shop, the product information is entered in the LeadsOnline database and is immediately viewable by participating law enforcement agencies across the country.

“ReportIt his an excellent program and I am very pleased to be able to offer it to all residents of Mohave County. This is a modern proactive tool that will easily allow you to catalog information about your valuables. This is a secure site and you can easily add up to 100 items,” said Sheriff Doug Schuster through a prepared statement.

Schuster said that no one will ever have unauthorized access to your information, you can immediately access the information in the case of theft and the list can be shared with law enforcement as well as your insurance carrier.

MCSO said that with the information provided by LeadsOnline, police track down thieves, develop leads in numerous cases and make arrests. Citizens 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. The record also may come in handy when filing claims with insurance providers in the event of a loss.

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

Source: http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/sheriff-s-office-urging-residents-to-use-online-service-to/article_73cdcfb4-59f9-11ea-a834-8766bc786a52.html

Thousands of dollars worth of stolen tools recovered in Lewis & Clark County

By John Riley

February 6, 2020

Deputies found the tools packed into a storage unit.

HELENA — The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has recovered tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools that have been from construction sites in recent months.

The first reports of stolen tools came in around Christmas by a contractor.

Sgt. Chris Weiss was able to locate some of the stolen items a few weeks later through Leads Online, a web-based service operated by pawn shops that helps law enforcement nationwide locate stolen items that were pawned.

“Around the first week of January I came across some tools on Leads Online that matched the description of the victims’ tools,” said Weiss.

Weiss found the person trying to sell the stolen tools, which then led him to another suspect. With search warrants, Weiss was then able to track the location of the tool cache through directions that were on a cell phone.

Deputies found the tools packed into a storage unit.

“As soon as we opened the door, it was probably 90 percent full of tools,” said Weiss. “It was around a 10 foot wide by 20 foot in depth storage shed that was full from the floor to middle height with tools.”

Deputies found the tools from numerous cases across the county, with each victim estimated to have lost at least $10,000.

“These are contractors, this is their livelihood,” said Weiss. “This is what they do to make their income. So when they lose everything they have to go seek insurance, or if they don’t have insurance they have to seek it on their own to replace these tools.”

The tools are still in LCSO custody while the case is open, but Weiss looks forward to getting them back to their owners as soon as possible.

“Every year we suffer break-ins to local business,” said Sheriff Leo Dutton. “The businesses, or construction companies, operate in a narrow profit margin.”

Sheriff Leo Dutton praised Sgt. Weiss his work on this case, specifically for closely paying attention to detail, and for working quickly locating the stolen property.

“The longer we have to look for stolen property, the less likely we are to find it,” explained Dutton. “Often when we’re working with a professional ring, they’ll go to either another town or out of state. If they’re trading it for drugs, they’re gone in the wind.”

LCSO strongly encourages contractors to make sure their tools are locked and secured when they leave a site. Investing in a game cam can also be a good way to identify a potential thief should a break-in occur.

The main suspect of this case is currently in custody and LCSO is recommending three counts of felony theft; the suspect’s name has not yet been released.

Source: https://www.krtv.com/news/crime-and-courts/thousands-of-dollars-worth-of-stolen-tools-recovered-in-lewis-clark-county

Boise Police recover $14,000 worth of tools stolen from Home Depot

By Shirah Matsuzawa

January 9, 2020

In honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Home Depot thanked the officers who tracked down the stolen tools.

BOISE, Idaho — Organized retail crime cost retailers nearly $778,000 for every $1 billion in sales in 2018, according to a National Retail Federation Survey.

In Boise, the Boise Police Department and Home Depot are working together to fight that crime.

“We have folks that come here from outside the area not knowing what partnerships are in place here, only to find out that when they go in and target one store and then go to another retailer that there’s often officers waiting there to arrest them for the offense that they just committed,” said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson.

On Thursday, in honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Home Depot thanked the Boise Police Department after its officers recovered $14,000 worth of stolen tools, most of them power tools.

“It’s easy and quick to get rid of, quick for thieves to sell on the open market for money,” said Home Depot’s Multi Asset Protection Manager Beau Lachance.

“We really enjoy being able to get the merchandise back to the stores because in reality the stores aren’t the only victims, the citizens of Boise are also the victims because in reality the stores are just going to raise its prices if they continue to see these losses,” said Boise Police Department’s Organized Crime Retail Investigator Adam Schloegel.

Which is where pawn shops, like Boise Pawn come in. When someone comes in with an item, owner JT Newton told KTVB, they take note of the serial number.

“It actually goes into a national database called Leads Online and from there that’s 50 states, so whether the item was stolen here or in another state it all goes to the same database, and then from there it goes to the police department,” Newton said.

That’s how police managed to recover these stolen tools.

“If you’re going to steal from our local stores, we will find you,” Schloegel said.

Source: https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/crime/boise-police-stolen-theft-tools-home-depot-recovered-found/277-a1d08139-1dae-45ee-bade-54a989a352e5

Philippi Police say anti-theft tracking system a success

By Joe Buchanan

January 6, 2020

BARBOUR COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) — In December 2018 when Philippi police teamed up with Leads Online to crack down on thieves profiting off stolen goods. 5 News asks a year later; how well has it worked?

“It makes a record of every purchase from a pawn shop or one of those kiosks or a cell phone store,” said Chief Jeff Walters.

Chief Walters says the system enables police to return stolen items.

“Nine times out of ten, when a person steals something they sell it as quick as they can,” said Chief Walters.

If you have something stolen you can report it. Anything from handguns to watches can be reported through the system.

“You can get on LeadsOnline every day and just search Philippi and any person that used the Philippi address it will show what they sold,” said Chief Walters.

You describe the item, any serial numbers and upload any pictures you have.

“A suspect takes something to a pawn shop and tries to pawn it, it will red flag and send us an email notification,” said Chief Walters.

He says his department does not have an exact number of items found with the system.

“I wouldn’t even begin to know, quite a few,” said Chief Walters.

Chief Walters went on to mention an incident where Philippi police tracked down a handgun to a pawn shop in Arizona using the system.

Source: https://www.wdtv.com/content/news/Philippi-Police-say-566759971.html

Man accused of stealing $4,599 engagement ring, then selling it at a pawn shop

By Adam Rogan

November 21, 2019

RACINE — A Kenosha man allegedly stole more than $6,200 worth of jewelry, including a single ring worth nearly $4,600, then reportedly sold the ring at a secondhand retail store in Kenosha.

The man — Tyrone Evans, 46, of the 5900 block of 10th Avenue in Kenosha — allegedly took a ring set valued at $6,252.69 (including an engagement ring valued at $4,599) from a Racine home in August 2018. He then sold the ring to a Kenosha pawn shop, according to police.

Evans is also under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for suspected theft of copper, according to his criminal complaint.

The Racine Police Department reported that the missing ring was recovered after searching Evans’ sales history on LeadsOnline, a database of stolen items that many pawn shops are required to use to help law enforcement recover stolen items.

Evans has been charged with felony theft of movable property. He also has multiple prior convictions related to theft, including burglary and criminal damage to property in 2018 in Kenosha County, burglary in 2010 in Milwaukee County and four counts of burglary in 2006 in Milwaukee County.

A warrant was authorized for Evans’ arrest on March 29 and he first appeared in Racine County court on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15. He remained in custody at the Racine County Jail as of Thursday.

Source: https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-accused-of-stealing-engagement-ring-then-selling-it-at/article_8b5387bc-0a6d-52f3-8a26-1c0a8acf6c58.html

SCSO: About half of stolen construction items claimed

By Jake Wasikowski

November 21, 2019

SARPY COUNTY NEB. (KMTV) — — Sarpy and Douglas County authorities are returning stolen construction items to their owners.

Contractors and builders went to the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office to claim their tools or building supplies.

Deputies arrested Brett Nelson, 38, for 8 counts of felony burglary. His bond was set at $50,000 – 10%.

He’s accused of breaking into homes under construction in Southwest Omaha and taking tools, home fixtures, and other items.

The arrest affidavit says since the end of September he went to metro pawn shops 28 times to sell the stolen goods.

“They’re hard working people and they make an honest living and it’s very unfortunate for them to have their items stolen so it’s good to see them get their stuff back,” said Inv. Karen Craig with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators used “Leads Online,” a tool that quickly identifies sellers and what they’ve sold to different stores.

If you had any tools or home fixtures stolen from a build site in Southwest Omaha contact Sarpy County at 402-593-2304.

Source: https://www.3newsnow.com/news/local-news/scso-about-half-of-stolen-construction-items-claimed


Omaha City Council extends contract for police, pawnshops to use stolen-goods database

November 5, 2019

By Aaron Sanderford

The Omaha City Council on Tuesday extended by five years the city contract for the database that the Omaha Police Department uses to identify and return stolen property sold to local pawnshops and secondhand stores.

The new, roughly $56,500-a-year deal with Texas-based LeadsOnline means that police and local retailers covered under city ordinance will continue to use the service through 2024.

Police say the system has helped them return more than $1.2 million in stolen property in the three-plus years since the city passed an ordinance requiring stores to log fingerprints, photos and IDs from people selling used items.

Among the items identified and returned: jewelry, electronics, snowblowers, bicycles and sporting goods.

Police sought the extension because they say the software lets them check images and information on items sold to pawnshops and secondhand shops against police reports filed. Investigators then follow up on leads.

Through the end of September, the system helped officers identify and return 1,305 stolen items, according to police. The average value of each of those stolen items: $923, though individual values varied widely.

The sponsor of the ordinance, Councilman Pete Festersen, has said it helps to have criminals know it’s harder to get rid of stolen items in Omaha.

No retailers spoke in opposition to the extension Tuesday.

Source: https://www.omaha.com/news/omaha-city-council-extends-contract-for-police-pawnshops-to-use/article_b85f4c5a-692e-5645-ac25-dd7feef6df6b.html

Goddard PD Suggests Online Service to Track Valuables

November 3, 2019

By Jacob Weston

You may want to think about using an online service to make a record of valuables in case you are the victim of theft.

The Goddard Police Department suggests using the ReportIt service, which is free and part of LeadsOnline. This database is used by police across the country to help track and recover stolen property.

“The addition of the free service ReportIt will provide a safe and secure tool for our citizens to inventory and log their valuables. In the event of a theft or disaster, a report can be generated by the owner that will provide a comprehensive list of their items and serial numbers, greatly increasing the chances of recovery.” explains Chief Fred Farris.

LeadsOnline is also used to record items sold at pawn shops, so if a serial number or description matches a stolen item you have a better chance of getting your property back.

You can look into the ReportIt service through the link below.

ReportIt Property Inventory System

Source: https://www.kfdi.com/2019/11/03/goddard-pd-suggests-online-service-to-track-valuables/

Omaha police returned $1.2M in stolen goods since property-crime law took effect in 2016

October 29, 201

By Chinh Doan

Omaha police say they have recovered $1.2 million in stolen property through an online registration program, but some businesses have privacy concerns.

OMAHA, Neb. — “There are many people who have had jewelry stolen,” said Sgt. Tina Jennum with the Omaha Police Department’s pawn/salvage squad. “Sometimes, we’re able to find that property, and I know they are really grateful because it was their grandmother or grandfather who gave them a watch or a ring, and they’re really happy to get it back. It doesn’t matter the value of it. They just want it back for sentimental reasons.

That’s more than 1,300 items recovered since 2016, when the city started requiring pawn shops and salvage dealers to use a nationwide registration system called LeadsOnline. Second hand shops were also required starting in 2019.

Jennum shared this breakdown at Tuesday’s City Council public hearing:

2016: over 430 items held, valued at $336,000
2017: 293 items held, valued at $330,000
2018: 358 items held, valued at nearly $400,000
2019 (through Sept.): 224 items held, valued at $137,000

The ordinance requires businesses to log sellers’ fingerprints, photos and IDs and hold the items for 14 days before paying the seller.

At the Nov. 5 City Council meeting, members will vote on a five-year contract to continue with LeadsOnline for about $56,000 a year.

Councilman Pete Festersen sponsored the ordinance and told KETV NewsWatch 7 the program is worth it.

“Until now, we haven’t really had that mechanism, so we’re very pleased with the results, and we think it’s deterring burglary and theft throughout the city,” said Festersen.

Sol’s Jewelry and Loan is among the hundreds of Omaha businesses using LeadsOnline, as required by the ordinance.

General manager, John Dineen, told KETV NewsWatch 7 the program saves time for staff and law enforcement.

“Instead of having an officer come out, pick up hard copies and spending those resources, now it’s a straight download,” said Dineen. “The police have them right in their cruisers.”

A few businesses told KETV NewsWatch 7 LeadsOnline hurts their business.

Tom white, who represented two salvage yards, sued the city over privacy concerns. His clients still comply to the ordinance by electronically sending the required information to police directly rather than uploading on LeadsOnline.

“If they, LeadsOnline, had a breach in their security, and that information was taken, they had no liability, leaving you as the business on the hook for the damage done to your own customer,” said White.

Dineen and other supporters of LeadsOnline say the program has been around for years and have not had any security concerns.

Source: https://www.ketv.com/article/omaha-police-have-returned-1-2-million-in-stolen-goods-since-property-crime-law-took-effect-in-2016/29630165

Arrest made in jewelry store robbery

October 18, 2019

By C.P. Thompson

A Hurley man has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry from Allen’s Silver City Jewelers and pepper-spraying a clerk last week. Cruz Placencio, 24, was arrested Tuesday and has been charged with five criminal counts.

According to an affidavit for arrest, Placencio allegedly visited Silver City Jewelers twice — once with his girlfriend — on Oct. 8, the day before the robbery. During the visits, he asked to see a catalog and for a showcase to be opened.

The next day, Oct. 9, around 11:54 a.m., Placencio allegedly entered the store wearing a gray sweater, gray sweatpants and black-and-white Adidas shoes, the affidavit states. He pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money, while covering his face with his shirt. The clerk gave Placencio the register tray, and he took a $20 bill.

He ordered the clerk to open the showcases, and placed the merchandise — including watches, necklaces and rings — on the counter. Placencio put the merchandise inside a backpack, and also put watches inside his pockets. The report alleges that he then pepper-sprayed the clerk and took off, dropping some watches while leaving the store.

Silver City Police Detective Salvador Quintana told the Daily Press that Placencio was in the store for about two minutes and 45 seconds, during which time he allegedly stole around $60,000 worth of jewelry. Silver City Police Chief Fred Portillo previously told the Daily Press that the clerk received medical attention on the scene, but her injuries were non-life-threatening, and the robber headed west on Market Street after leaving the store.

The clerk said she knew “the guy was trying to disguise his voice, but once the male subject started talking, Cruz Placencio was the first person” who came to mind, police said. The robber and Placencio share the same build, as well.

The affidavit states that a man saw Placencio get into a red two-door pickup on the corner of Arizona and Kelly streets. Surveillance video from Silver City Jewelers shows that Placencio drove an identical vehicle to the front of the store during his visit Oct. 8, the day before the robbery.

An off-duty police officer saw Placencio driving the same vehicle Oct. 14, and tried following it to “have an officer make contact, but lost the truck during the incident,” according to the affidavit. The officer ran the license plate, and determined that the vehicle belonged to Placencio’s mother.

On Oct. 15, around 8:53 a.m., a police officer saw Placencio enter a business on Pope Street and contacted Quintana. Quintana asked Central Dispatch if Placencio still had a valid warrant, which stemmed from a battery charge. Placencio then came out of the business and got into a vehicle — but not the one from the robbery. Quintana told Placencio about the warrant, and later arrested him.

A police officer conducted a “search incident” on Placencio and found a wristwatch taken from Silver City Jewelers, the affidavit states. Quintana wrote that he saw a dark-colored sweater and black-and-white Adidas shoes through the vehicle’s window.

Placencio told Quintana that he has “belongings” in a Hurley home. After obtaining a search warrant, Quintana found a tag from Silver City Jewelers, rings and a receipt from DK Gun and Pawn. Quintana learned from a clerk at DK Gun and Pawn that Placencio got a gun from the store on Oct. 5. Quintana also found .40-caliber bullets in the vehicle.

The affidavit states that a search warrant was approved for the Hurley home, which Quintana and another detective searched Oct. 15. During the search, a crystal-like substance and more .40-caliber bullets were found.

On Oct. 16, Quintana found the truck that was used from the robbery at Placencio’s girlfriend’s home in Silver City. After getting a search warrant, Quintana found a plastic bag that had “a rose gold diamond ring with a white tag with” numbers. The numbers matched the Silver City Jewelers inventory sheet.

Quintana talked to a Las Cruces Police Department detective, who told Quintana about LeadsOnline, a pawn shop information program. While searching the program, he found that Placencio’s girlfriend had pawned two rings at a pawn shop in Las Cruces.

The affidavit states that the girlfriend admitted to pawning the two rings. Placencio told his girlfriend that they “were his mother’s rings, and that he wanted her to pawn them for him due to his appearance.” The girlfriend said “she didn’t think anything of it, due to his mother having a lot of rings.”

Quintana showed the girlfriend pictures from Silver City Jewelers, and she said that the two rings were given to her before coming to the store.

Placencio has been charged with armed robbery, larceny, aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance and battery.

Detectives said they are working with Las Cruces and El Paso police to recover what was stolen.

Around an hour before the robbery, a man called Central Dispatch from a telephone number with a 505 area code, and said “he is going to shoot up Silver High” before hanging up. Silver High School and neighboring schools were placed on lockdown. After the schools were declared safe, they were removed from lockdown around noon.

A detective is still working on the lockdown and attempting to trace the number. There hasn’t been anything “concrete” that leads police to assume that the robbery and threat are connected. The robbery incident is still active and anyone who has information about it should visit the Silver City Police Department or call them at 538-3723.

Placencio was booked into the Grant County Detention Center on Oct. 15, and remained at the detention center Thursday night.

Source: http://scdailypress.com/site/2019/10/18/arrest-made-in-jewelry-store-robbery/

SPD encourages citizens to register valuables online

October 16, 2019

By KTAL/KMSS Staff

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Shreveport police are encouraging citizens to register their valuables online, saying that it could make the difference in recovering your property if ever reported stolen.

The Shreveport Police Department shared the advice on Facebook Wednesday evening, adding that serial numbers, photos, and receipts are all vital to the investigation of missing property.

In the post, they suggest registering property online with ReportIt. SPD says the information you enter is completely secure and you can access the web page from any computer with an internet connection using your username and password.

Source: https://www.arklatexhomepage.com/top-stories/spd-encourages-citizens-to-register-valuables-online/

Woman charged in storage unit theft ring

September 26, 2019

A 30-year-old woman has been charged with working with four group of people who broke into storage units in Waco and across McLennan County with items then being pawned or sold.

Isabel Denise Gonzalez was already in the McLennan County Jail on numerous credit card abuse charges out of Lacy Lakeview when the new charges of engaging in organized criminal activity were served on her by investigators with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office.

An arrest affidavit stated that she was accused of working others in entering storage units that had the locks cut off and other locks put in their place.

Deputies had been working a storage unit burglary case in West when other county cases were discovered and it was learned that the Waco Police Department were working several more.

Waco police ran a search warrant with the assistance of deputies where items such as a leather riding saddle, golf clubs, all sorts of tools and other items that matched sheriff’s office cases were recovered.

During the investigation Gonzalez was seen with others taking items from storage units and placing them in a unit held by one of the co-conspirators.

Investigators ran pawn lists for Gonzalez and others in the suspect group and were able to locate stolen property.

The arrest affidavit stated that one of the others questioned in the cases said it was Gonzalez who would locate the storage units and coordinated what items were being sold and pawned at the different pawnshops.

The affidavit quoted one of those questioned as saying Gonzalez would pop the locks of the storage units and leave other locks in their place.

Thursday Gonzalez remained in the McLennan County Jail on the county charges of engaging in organized crime, a Waco PD charge of theft of property, a Waco PD charge of engaging in organized criminal activity and had previous bonds revoked for an earlier charge of possession of methamphetamine and nine cases of credit or debit card abuse out of Lacy Lakeview.

Source: https://www.fox44news.com/news/local-news/local/woman-charged-in-storage-unit-theft-ring/

Police to Work With NY Pawn Shops to Track Stolen Goods

September 25, 2019

Police to Work With NY Pawn Shops to Track Stolen Goods
A new law in Westchester County will have police able to check a database that tracks diamonds, gems, gold and silver sold to local pawn shops. Cops may be able to even find the person who sold the goods. NBC New York’s Ken Buffa reports.

Watch the video: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Police-to-Work-With-NY-Pawn-Shops-to-Track-Stolen-Goods_New-York-561374612.html

Carson City arrests: Man allegedly steals and pawns laptop, games from friend’s game room

September 25, 2019

A man was arrested Tuesday for suspicion of felony grand larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses and misdemeanor violation of a suspended sentence after allegedly breaking into a game room of a residence, stealing electronics and selling them, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy report said.

Ruben Michael Omohundro, listed as a transient, was taken into custody at 9:36 p.m. According to the arrest report, deputies were called to an East Nye Lane residence for a burglary report. A deputy met with the victim who stated someone entered into the home’s game room and took an Apple MacBook Air and marijuana that was recently purchased from a local marijuana dispensary.

While the victim began looking for the laptop, they noticed the rear window was not locked and cracked open, and footprints leading to the game room. The victim provided a written statement and the deputy took photos of the footprints outside the window, the report states.

The deputy then checked on a website to see if the MacBook was pawned. The deputy discovered that it was pawned at a local pawn shop with a sale amount of $125, and the suspect’s name. The officer contacted the victim and asked if they knew the suspect.

The victim told the officer the suspect was at the residence hanging out in the game room and that a Nintendo Switch had also been discovered stolen and that they wished to have it added to the report.

A deputy met with the suspect and asked if he would speak. He was read his Miranda rights and asked if he wished to speak. He said he understood his rights and agreed to talk, the report states.

He was asked what he was doing with the laptop. At first the man said he didn’t know. The officer then asked if he recently went to a pawnshop and pawned the laptop. He admitted he did and received $125, the report states. He was arrested.

The man asked if he could speak with the victims before he left. The victims asked where a Playstation 4 was (which was reported on in a prior case) and the Nintendo Switch. The man hesitated and admitted that the Playstation 4 was pawned at a Douglas County business and the Nintendo Switch pawned at a Carson City business, the arrest report states.

The deputy asked how much he received for the Playstation 4 and the Switch. He said he received $120 for the Playstation 4 and $140 for the Nintendo Switch. The suspect provided a written statement stating where he pawned the Playstation and Nintendo, the report states.

Based on the report showing the man received $125 for selling the MacBook, he was charged with grand larceny and obtaining money under false pretenses. The investigation will continue Wednesday with the deputy report stating he will review pawn receipts and recover the stolen property. Total bail amount listed in the arrest report $46,000.

In other arrests
— A 38-year-old Carson City man was arrested Tuesday, 10:48 p.m. in the 2300 block of Bunch Way for suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery and obstructing an officer.

According to the arrest report, deputies were dispatched to a residence in reference to a domestic battery. Dispatch learned the male half was extremely verbal and in a heated state of mind. The reporting party said the man would be uncooperative with deputies when they arrived as he has a history of obstructing.

Officers learned in the investigation that the man had been drinking, became belligerent, grabbed the victim by the feet and threw them off a bed, then shoved the victim with both hands, causing a fall. The victim stated the man attempted to grab their cell phone and that he was pushed away.

A deputy and canine arrived and asked for other deputies to expedite. Deputies gave the suspect commands to put his hands behind his back. The man refused several times. Deputies took hold of him, placed him in handcuffs and he had to be physically carried to a patrol car where he then refused to get in. An OC spray was deployed. The man then complied with orders and the OC was wiped from his face. He was booked for suspicion of domestic battery and obstructing an officer. Bail: $3,774.

All information for the crime log (unless otherwise noted) comes from the arrest reports supplied by the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, and is considered by law to be public information. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The policy of Carson Now is to name anyone who is arrested for a felony offense.

Source: https://carsonnow.org/story/09/25/2019/carson-city-arrests-man-allegedly-steals-and-pawns-laptop-games-friends-game-room

Man accused of stealing, pawning A-State computers

August 9, 2019

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A Jonesboro man faces felony charges after police say he stole several computers from Arkansas State University and then pawned them.

Craighead County District Judge David Boling found probable cause Thursday to charge Joseph Alexander Cummings, 22, with commercial burglary and theft of $1,000 or more but less than $5,000. Both are Class D felonies.

Cummings is accused of stealing five Apple computers, valued at $7,766.43, from the A-State Fine Arts Department last month.

On Aug. 6, according to court documents, Sgt. Brian Shelton with the University Police Department was notified by Leads on Line that Cummings had sold three of the stolen computers to Express Pawn, 3205 E. Nettleton.

The A-State employee who reported the theft told Shelton she was “familiar with the suspect and has seen him in and out of her building,” the affidavit stated.

“But there is no reason for him to have possession of these items outside of the university and he definitely did not have permission to sell them,” the court documents said.

After reviewing the case, Judge Boling found probable cause to charge Cummings and initially set his bond at $7,500. But Cummings asked that the amount be lowered, stating a family member did not have that much money.

The judge reduced his bond to $6,500 and told him to appear in circuit court on Sept. 27.

Source: https://www.kait8.com/2019/08/09/man-accused-stealing-pawning-a-state-computers/

An Amazon driver theft ring sold stolen goods for 6 years, raked in millions in sales

August 1, 2019

By Gene Johnson

SEATTLE – A theft ring in Washington state sold millions of dollars’ worth of stolen goods on Amazon.com in the past six years, and a pair of Amazon delivery drivers was involved, recently unsealed federal court documents show.

According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Seattle and reviewed by The Associated Press, two storefront businesses posing as pawnshops bought the goods from shoplifters, then had the items shipped to Amazon warehouses, where they were stored until sold online.

Entities associated with the alleged ringleader did at least $10 million in sales on Amazon since 2013, FBI agent Ariana Kroshinsky wrote in her affidavit.

No charges have yet been filed, though investigators have raided the pawnshops and the home of the man identified as the ringleader, Aleksandr Pavlovskiy, 44, of Auburn. A man who answered the door at one of the shops Wednesday identified himself as Alex and told The Associated Press his business was legitimate, that he kept good records and he should not be in any trouble.

How they did it

Among those who provided stolen items to the pawnshops were two contract Amazon drivers, Kroshinsky said. Their job was to travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, pick up items being returned to the company and then bring them to an Amazon warehouse south of Seattle, and to deliver items to post offices for shipping. Instead, they routinely stole the goods and sold them to the pawnshops, she wrote.

Amazon did not immediately return an email seeking comment about the case Thursday.

The investigation began last summer when a police detective in Auburn, a south Seattle suburb, was perusing a record of pawnshop sales and noticed that one man had made 57 transactions. It turned out to be one of the drivers.

He had received nearly $30,000 selling items to the pawnshops between February and July last year, the affidavit said. Police initially arrested the driver but released him from jail to avoid disrupting their larger investigation.

The other driver, identified as Abbas Zghair, was believed to be a roommate of the first. Amazon told investigators that Zghair stole about $100,000 worth of property, including gaming systems, sporting goods and computer products – items he sold to one of the pawnshops for less than $20,000, the agent wrote.

In an unrelated case, Zghair has been charged with murder after police said he shot and killed a man in an Auburn field in March, then fled to the Canadian border, where he was arrested trying to cross with a fake ID. He’s being held on $2.5 million bail.

Detectives staked out the pawnshops, Innovation Best in Kent, Washington, and Thrift-Electro in Renton, Washington, and observed that they appeared to be paying shoplifters and drug users cash for new items from Home Depot, Lowes and Fred Meyer department stores. Unlike typical pawnshops, they didn’t make sales; instead, the products were moved to a warehouse and to Amazon “fulfillment centers,” from where they were shipped when they were sold on Amazon’s website by sellers using the handles “Bestforyouall” or “Freeshipforyou,” the affidavit said.

According to a database of pawnshop transactions reviewed by Auburn police, the suspect pawnshops paid more than $4.1 million to sellers who brought them nearly 48,000 items in the past six years. The items included allergy medication, razors, electric toothbrushes and tools in their original packaging. Detectives also conducted undercover operations in which they sold new items in their original packaging to the shops, which accepted them no questions asked, Kroshinsky wrote.

The FBI said it is awaiting more Amazon records to determine the full extent of Pavlovskiy’s enterprise, but that “estimated revenue from Amazon sales, for entities associated with Aleksandr Pavlovskiy, was at least $10 million since 2013.”

Pavlovskiy’s lawyer, Cristine Beckwith, did not return a message seeking comment.

Not an isolated incident

The sale of stolen or counterfeit goods on Amazon or other digital marketplaces is not uncommon, but it was not immediately clear how many other schemes had reached such a volume of sales. Last year, police raided a pawnshop in Monroe, north of Seattle, that they said had taken in $428,000 fencing stolen items, much of it on Amazon.

Jon Reily, a vice president for the digital consultancy firm Publicis Sapient and previously the head of e-commerce user experience for Amazon Devices, said preventing the sale of stolen goods is a major challenge for the company, but retailers can be held liable if they don’t do enough to ensure they’re not selling stolen goods. Because it’s impossible for Amazon to review “every Tide pod” that’s sold on its site, the company will likely need to do more to vet sellers, Riley said.

“It’s a little bit of an arms race for Amazon to be able to take in product, put it on the web and get it to their customers in a speedy fashion and not unwittingly sell stolen stuff at the same time,” Reily said. “Ultimately what Amazon has to do is show good faith if the government comes knocking on the door and says, ‘Look, you’re selling stolen goods.'”

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/01/amazon-delivery-driver-theft-ring-washington-identified-fbi/1894681001/

Man accused of stealing copper wire from telephone poles at least 15 times in three months

July 26th 2019

By Quixem Ramirez

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio man is facing charges for allegedly stealing copper wire from telephone poles at least 15 times in the past three months according to an arrest affidavit.

Ray Puente, 36, is accused of stealing copper wire on at least 15 occasions. Police said there were over 20 cases involving copper wire being cut from telephone poles throughout the San Antonio area in the past past three months. A majority of the thefts happened on the Southwest Side.

A contractor replacing cut copper lines May 20 at 4707 Wurzbach Road found a black backpack at the site according to the affidavit. Detectives said a machete, hack-saw, plies used to cut wire and a paperwork containing Puente’s information from the Bexar County Probation Office were found inside the backpack.

Investigators found proof of Puente selling copper wire at two different times the day after the theft at Danny’s San Antonio Recycling on Somerset Road. The weight of the copper wire totaled 277 pounds, a mark consistent with the weight of the copper wire reportedly stolen the day before. LeadsOnline, the nation’s largest investigative system, showed Puente selling copper wire over 15 different times in the past three months.

Puente faces a charge for theft of aluminium.

Source: https://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/man-accused-of-stealing-copper-wire-from-telephone-poles-at-least-15-times-in-three-months

Police: Pawn shop owners reaped $1 million-plus in retail crime enterprise

By Lisa Redmond

July 18, 2019

MANCHESTER — The owners of pawn shops in Manchester and Concord are accused of being the ringleaders of organized retail crime rings that prosecutors said reaped more than $1 million in profits by selling stolen items on eBay.

“It is the most expansive retail organized crime enterprise I’ve ever seen,” prosecutor Patrick Ives told Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Amy Messer on Thursday.

Ives said Kyle Perkins, 27, and his domestic partner, Shaira Clarissa, 34, both of Concord, used their pawnshops to solicit stolen merchandise and then sell items on eBay with an account created in their child’s name.

Merrimack County officials may bring additional charges after a raid on the couple’s Concord home allegedly yielded more than an ounce of methamphetamine and evidence of a scheme to make counterfeit money, identifications and credit cards, Ives said.

After a lengthy joint investigation by Manchester and Concord police, on Wednesday police raided the couple’s businesses, EZ Pawn and Apple Operation on South Willow Street in Manchester and EZ Apple Repair on Main Street in Concord, along with their Concord home.

In raiding the home, Ives said investigators found “money scattered everywhere.’’

Thousands of dollars worth of what are believed to be stolen goods were seized, police said. More than 450 items — from tools and electronics to home goods, some still in the boxes — were seized as evidence, Ives said.

Perkins and Clarissa are charged with three counts each of receiving stolen property. Co-defendant Christopher Hill, 31, pleaded not guilty to four counts of receiving stolen property.

Messer released Hill on $2,500 cash bail with the conditions that he live at home and continue with a drug diversion program. Clarissa was ordered held pending the assignment of a defense attorney.

Perkins was ordered held without bail after Ives argued Perkins has a similar conviction in a 2015 Merrimack County case. In that case Perkins, the owner of a now-defunct pawnshop in Goffstown, was accused of running a fencing operation involving stolen computer equipment, according to published reports.

“The evidence filled the Goffstown Police Department’s evidence locker,” Ives said. Perkins received a two- to five-year suspended sentence, which the Attorney General’s office will ask a judge to impose in light of the new charges, Ives said.

Defense attorney Joseph Fricano argued for Perkins to be released, saying there is no evidence that traces the sales of stolen items to him.

“He ran a pawnshop,” Fricano said. “He can’t control what comes and goes in his store.” Fricano suggested that Manchester police did their research into stolen items using LeadsOnline.com, a subscription service that tracks pawnshop receivables. Police use the system to compare pawned items with those that have been reported stolen.

“If Mr. Perkins was running some elaborate scheme he was not doing a very good job of hiding it, since most of the merchandise was entered into the Leads system,” Fricano said.

As for the 10 or so people who were allegedly stealing items and selling them to Perkins, Fricano said “all these corroborating witnesses have motives to lie and fabricate.”

Source: https://www.unionleader.com/news/crime/police-pawn-shop-owners-reaped-million-plus-in-retail-crime/article_a637e502-2317-52e9-a89b-84eef1b498de.html

Man steals hundred of thousands of dollars worth of coins from girlfriend’s grandmother, police say

By Jacque Masse

April 16, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis police arrested a man after they said he stole a coin collection from his girlfriend’s grandmother.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim called the police when she noticed coins were missing from her safe.

A family member broke down in tears when FOX13 asked her about those coins. She said her father spent years saving them for his wife.

“Let’s just put it this way. It was my dad’s life savings and what my mother was supposed to live on,” she said.

The victim told police she believed her granddaughter’s boyfriend, Brandon Raley, might have found the key. Detectives searched the Lead Online pawn database and found where 156 of the coins had been pawned by Raley.

Police found the suspect at his home and he told police that he had a homeless friend named “Erin” who he brought to the house. He left “Erin” inside the house for a bit alone, and then he met him at the car.

Sometime later, he said “Erin” asked for help to pawn off coins that his grandfather had left him. He claimed his friend did not have an ID and needed help to pawn the items.

When detectives asked about inconsistencies in his story, he became defensive and said he no longer wished to speak.

Police records said he did willfully admit to pawning the gold Kruggerands.

Raley was arrested and charged with Theft of Property more than $25,000.

Source: https://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/man-steals-hundred-of-thousands-of-dollars-worth-of-coins-from-girlfriend-s-grandmother-police-say/940626599

Woman says life savings gone after expensive coins are stolen

By Stacy Jacobson

April 16, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Bartlett man, 22, stole nearly $500,000 from his girlfriend’s grandmother over the course of four months, according to Shelby County deputies.

Lou Goodwin, 82, now relives every moment of the last year, as she remodeled her home, mourned her late husband and welcomed her granddaughter’s boyfriend Brandon Raley in to her family’s life.

“He sat right behind me at the funeral,” she said of the service for her late husband last July. “He started to go to church with us. Sat right behind me at church. I gave him a bible at Christmas.”

She says she’d heard Raley had a drug problem, but she looked out for him because she also knew he had a tough upbringing. So she welcomed him into her home and he offered to help with renovations.

“He’d be painting and have to go in the garage to get the paint,” Goodwin said.

That’s how she said Raley figured out how to steal her life savings over a period of time between December and April.

Goodwin had always used a combination lock to access the safe. She said her late husband never told her about a key, but Raley somehow found one and took cash and valuable coins , including gold Krugerrands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I don’t know how many Krugerrands my husband had bought over the years. They were all gone, 200 of them,” she said. “It would be somewhere around $500,000.”

Goodwin says she went to get money to pay her taxes Monday and that’s when she realized the safe was empty. She called the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and they used a website to find records of Raley taking the gold to pawn shops..

WREG went to the suspect’s Bartlett home and a woman identifying herself as his sister answered the door. We asked her about her brother and whether he’d do this. She did not want to comment.

Raley told deputies a homeless friend asked him to sell the gold because the friend didn’t have identification.

Goodwin called that an excuse.

“He spent Christmas with us. I never dreamed he’d do that to me. But I don’t think you can trust anyone,” she said.

She had no idea how she’d pay her taxes now, but somehow, God will take care of her.

Source: https://wreg.com/2019/04/16/woman-says-life-savings-gone-after-expensive-coins-are-stolen/

Royal man arrested after crime spree

By Steven Mross

April 3, 2019

A Royal man was arrested early Tuesday on multiple felony charges stemming from an alleged three-month crime spree that included numerous break-ins and a high-speed pursuit during which he rammed his vehicle through a building.

Michael Allen Lynch, 27, who lists a Ragweed Valley Road address, was taken into custody around 3:30 a.m. and charged with possession of meth with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, first-degree criminal mischief and theft of property over $5,000, punishable by up to 10 years, and breaking or entering, second-degree criminal mischief, felony fleeing, and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years.

Lynch was also charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, criminal mischief, failure to appear and unlawful transfer of stolen property to a pawnshop, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Lynch was being held on bonds totaling $57,250 and is set to appear today in Garland County District Court.

According to a probable cause affidavit on some of the charges, on Jan. 7, a break-in to a storage facility at Trader Bill’s, 1530 Albert Pike, was reported in which several boats belonging to the business and customers were damaged and numerous items were taken.

An employee of the business found a cellphone in one of the boats that didn’t belong to anyone there and appeared to have been dropped by whoever broke in. Hot Springs police Detective Les Jessup got a search warrant to extract data from the phone which had multiple user accounts allegedly traced back to Lynch.

Numerous photos were found on the phone of marine stereos, battery chargers and other marine equipment like the items reported stolen. There were also messages pulled from the phone related to the stolen items in which Trader Bills was referred to as “Raider Bills.”

Detective Shaun Stillian spoke with one of the boat owners who had several items stolen, including a charger, jumper box and three Interstate batteries. Some of the photos pulled from the phone were of similar items which were shown to the owner who confirmed the items belonged to him.

Stillian also spoke to a boat owner who had several thousand dollars’ worth of fishing equipment stolen, including 12 to 15 rods and reels, several boxes of lures and other items. LeadsOnline was checked and a pawn ticket found from 270 Pawn Shop, 4430 Albert Pike, for 10 rods and reels, three boxes of lures and a depth finder sold on Jan. 2.

The boat owner met Stillian at the pawnshop and he was reportedly able to identify $3,500 worth of the equipment as his. The depth finder was found to belong to Trader Bill’s. The total value of the property was $4,800.

Stillian got video from the pawnshop that allegedly showed Lynch and another known suspect pawning the stolen items. The affidavit notes the total amount of items stolen from Trader Bills was $9,590 and damages to the boats and the fence at the storage facility was estimated at $14,495.

According to the affidavit on the felony fleeing and criminal mischief charges, on Feb. 28, shortly after 4:30 a.m., Officer 1st Class Jonathan Smith was at Walmart, 1601 Albert Pike, attempting to locate a red 2011 Chevrolet Equinox suspected in a felony theft at the store.

He spotted the Equinox pulling through the lot and followed it onto Airport Road where he attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle accelerated across Airport headed east on West St. Louis with Smith in pursuit.

He noted the vehicle ran all the stop signs on West St. Louis and was clocked doing 55 mph in a 25 mph zone. The pursuit continued to North Patterson Street where he lost sight of it. While stopped at the corner of Albert Pike and North Patterson, Smith said he spotted the vehicle again “stuck inside the building” at 304 Albert Pike.

He got out and approached the vehicle and ordered the driver, whom he recognized as Lynch, to show his hands. Lynch allegedly ignored Smith and “began driving forward and backwards inside the building, trying to free his vehicle.”

After knocking out the east wall of the building with his rear bumper, Lynch broke free and sped westbound on Albert Pike. The pursuit continued for another 20 minutes out Albert Pike with the Equinox reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph and Smith finally terminated it after Lynch crossed into Montgomery County.

Damages to the building on Albert Pike were estimated at $14,000.

According to the affidavit regarding Lynch’s arrest, around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Smith and Officers Zachary Brown and Billy Perkins obtained information Lynch, who had multiple felony warrants at that point, was possibly in the area of Spring and Illinois streets.

Brown and Perkins approached the area from Grand and Spring while Smith and his K-9 partner, Bear, came down Illinois. Brown reportedly spotted Lynch standing on the side of Spring near a green Toyota passenger car and he and Perkins got out and ordered Lynch to get on the ground as Smith and Bear stood nearby.

After several failed attempts to get Lynch to cooperate, Smith warned him that Bear would be used to take him into custody. At that point, Lynch finally complied and was handcuffed behind his back and patted down.

Officers allegedly found a Band-Aid container in his pants pocket and a glass pipe. Inside the container were 2.9 grams of what later tested positive for meth, a digital scale, small baggie and a magnifying glass.

Lynch allegedly became combative as they tried to transport him, slamming his head against Brown’s vehicle. They finally got him into Perkins’ unit, but while en route to the jail he allegedly moved his hands to the front of his body and began violently kicking the rear driver’s side door.

The door was damaged to the point Perkins was unable to get it open and he had to have assistance from Garland County sheriff’s deputies at the jail in getting Lynch out.

Source: http://www.hotsr.com/news/2019/apr/03/royal-man-arrested-after-crime-spree-20/

Pawn shop ordinance approved by Board

By Scott Cousins

March 24, 2019

EDWARDSVILLE — An ordinance requiring pawn and second-hand stores to electronically submit lists of items taken in was overwhelmingly approved by the Madison County Board last week.

The resolution passed 23-2 with David Michael, R-Highland, and Mick Madison, R-Bethalto, voting against it. Four members were absent during the meeting on Wednesday.

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Pawn shops and secondhand dealers would have to participate in the LeadsOnline system, which allows dealers to upload daily information that law enforcement agencies can access.

Currently county pawn shops submit “pawn tickets” on a weekly basis to the Sheriff’s Department. The tickets are either hand-written or typed and require a large number of man-hours to process, according to law enforcement officials. Secondhand shops were not regulated.

Michael questioned whether all the affected businesses had been contacted, and expressed concerns that by forcing them to go online they could be hacked.

It was noted that several store owners attended the last Public Safety Committee meeting, and the ordinance had been changed because of concerns by one of them.

According to Lt. Kris Tharp of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the primary focus of the ordinance will be jewelry, stamps, electronics, precious metals and coins, and construction-grade power tools.

The board also took action on a number of highway-related issues, including approving $176,250 for the resurfacing of State Street in Alton between Rozier and Belle streets; $300 for acquisition of right-of-way for the Wanda Road resurfacing project; 128,000 for the acquisition of right-of-way for the Seiler Road project; 94,500 for work on West Clay Street in Collinsville; and accepted the donation of property along Troy- O’Fallon Road in, and approved a $94,000 funding resolution for the reconstruction of West Clay Street in Maryville.

Source: https://www.theintelligencer.com/news/article/Pawn-shop-ordinance-approved-by-Board-13712688.php

Police arrest two for stealing $25K in scuba gear, valuables

By Larry Hobbs

March 21, 2019

A pair of thieves broke into some storage units at Storage By the Sea early last month in the Lanier Plaza, absconding with approximately $25,000 in scuba diving equipment and other valuables, according to a Brunswick Police report.

But the loot was of little profit until the culprits could find a place to dump it in exchange for cash. And that is how Brunswick Police detectives caught up to Matthew Martin Stembridge and Thomas Lee Jones, who allegedly sold the stolen goods at pawnshops throughout the Golden Isles, according to Brunswick Police Lt. Jose Gladamez, the department’s criminal investigations commander.

In the process, police have managed to return a significant portion of the stolen goods to the victim, he said.

“They had to have come in there with a pickup truck or trailer and just loaded up,” Galdamez said. “Our investigation led us to these two guys, and we were able to find a lot of the property that had been pawned.”

Stembridge and Jones, both 29, remained Wednesday in the Glynn County Detention Center, charged with two counts each of second- degree burglary. Additionally, Stembridge, of Darien, is charged with seven counts of theft by taking and seven counts of theft by deception. Jones, of Brunswick, is additionally charged with five counts of theft by taking and five counts of theft by deception, according to jail records.

The victim discovered the break-ins on Feb. 2 and reported it to police. The thieves had removed the locks on several storage units at Storage By the Sea, 1825 U.S. Highway 17, the police report said. In addition to a large amount of expensive diving gear, the victim was missing other valuables, including generators, expensive bicycles and coolers, Galdamez said.

Detectives first discovered that some of the items had been sold on the Golden Isles Online Yard Sale Facebook page, Galdamez said. Using the internet investigating service LeadsOnline, police began tracking down still more stolen items at area pawnshops, Galdamez said.

“They started selling some of the property in Golden Isles Yard Sale on Facebook,” he said. “Eventually, we began checking the pawnshops and that led us to a good bit of the property.”

The theft by deception charges filed against Stembridge and Jones stem from the loss incurred by the pawnbrokers who unwittingly bought the stolen goods, Galdamez said.

“Sometimes it takes a while, but we are always working to solve these crimes,” Galdamez said. “And we do make the effort to get the property back for those who have been victimized by these crimes.”

The investigation is still ongoing and more stolen property may be recovered, Galdamez said.

Source: https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/police-arrest-two-for-stealing-k-in-scuba-gear-valuables/article_ec9e1eb4-0a55-5ac4-bc1c-9e86d75bc571.html

Danville Police using ReportIt system to help track stolen property

By Hannah McComsey

March 7, 2019

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) — The Danville Police Department wants you to be aware of a website that can help recover stolen property. It’s called ReportIt, a free and secure service that allows you to keep track of your belongings.

The ReportIt service is a part of LeadsOnline, an online system that works with police across the country to track and recover stolen property. The Danville Police Department uses LeadsOnline to help track and recover stolen property. The system allows detectives to search for the items using a variety of parameters, including item descriptions and serial numbers. When an item is sold to a pawn or secondhand shop, the product information is entered in the LeadsOnline database and can be viewed by participating law enforcement agencies.

Once you login to ReportIt – you can take pictures of your items and write down their serial numbers. If an item gets stolen, police can search the database to see if it was resold – and get your stuff back to you.

“It makes it much easier for us identify stolen property when we’ve, say, done a search warrant, gone to a house and recovered property and are trying to place it back with the owners,” said Lt. Richard Chivvis with the Danville Police Department, “We really like to be able to return stolen property to the owners.”

Danville Police say this website has already helped them in one stolen property case.

Source: https://wset.com/news/local/danville-police-using-reportit-system-to-help-track-stolen-property

I-TEAM INVESTIGATES: If you’re a property crime victim, this one thing will up your chances of getting your stuff back

By Liz Owens

February 25, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — A shooting, bank robbery and a murder – we told you about all three last week, but the actual chance of a violent crime happening to you is less than half a percent.

But property crimes? We are 10 times more likely to be the victim of a property crime.

How do you prevent yourself from becoming a statistic?

First, let’s look at the statistics.

According to NeighborhoodScout.com, 1 in 26 people in Augusta are a victim of theft, burglary, or larceny.

Before he became a spokesperson for the sheriff, Sgt. William McCarty worked in property crimes. So, what items are stolen the most?

“Hands down, electronics,” McCarty said.

From March through December 2018, deputies investigated more than 1,700 burglaries and 2,100 thefts in Richmond County.

National statistics show you only have about a 30 percent chance of getting something stolen back. McCarty said there’s a way to protect yourself and raise your odds.

“The biggest obstacle we run into is we can’t identify the items once recovered,” McCarty said.

That means investigators don’t have a way to link a stolen item to the owner. In some cases, however, the owner can’t prove it belongs to him.

“I can’t tell you the amount of unclaimed property that we have run across the years which couldn’t be identified through a serial number,” McCarty said.

A serial number is a unique number or string of characters that identifies a product. Investigators can use them to identify a specific device.

Deputy Shields works the property crimes unit and scans for serial numbers quite often through a database called Leads Online. Leads connects law enforcement agents with pawn shops.

Anytime someone reports something stolen, an investigator will enter the serial number — if the owner has it — into the system. Anytime someone pawns something, the pawn shop will enter serial number into the same system.

That’s how Greg Driggers, a local pawn shop owner, helped deputies nab a guy last year.

Hopefully you’ll never become a victim of theft, but if it happens, this will greatly increase the chances of getting your stuff back. Leads Online isn’t just for law enforcement. Anybody can register something they own on here. If it’s stolen, investigators can immediately link the serial number to you or vice versa.

“The more documentation you have, the more chance you have if getting it back recovered, and it makes it a lot easier for your insurance company as well,” McCarty said.

Source: https://www.wrdw.com/content/news/I-TEAM-INVESTIGATES-If-youre-a-property-crime-victim-this-one-thing-will-up-your-chances-of-getting-your-stuff-back-506342431.html

Man takes plea on felony charges

By Bradly Gill

February 19, 2019

A Louann man faces up to 10 years in prison as a result of plea deals from two separate felony cases.

Duston Abeyta pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Ouachita County last week to residential burglary and theft of property worth more than $1,000, but less than $5,000.

Court documents state that on July 18, 2018, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a woman in Harmony Grove who stated that a Duston Abeyta and Kory Barnes had been staying with her at her home. She stated that there was property in her home and in her shed that had been brought there by Abeyta and Barnes that she believed to have been stolen. Officers went to the home and she showed them several totes of glassware and took them to her shed where there were bags of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Tony Stewart memorabilia.

The reporting officer also states seeing a vacuum cleaner, crossbow and tools, and paperwork inside one of the bags that had the name of a Texas resident. They contacted the McCamey Texas Police Department, and they made contact with the Texas resident. A man then made contact with OCSD and told them that he owned a residence along Arkansas 376 South that had a lot of items in it similar to what was described.

The man stated that the value of the items as being close to $5,000 or more. He stated that he would come to Arkansas, visit the residence on Arkansas 376 South, inventory everything still missing and give a value on what had been recovered. Officers then went to the man’s residence where they found that the back door broken and open, and a shed behind the house that had the lock torn off and items dragged out. The owner later reported that a welder had been taken.

The Harmony Grove resident went to the sheriff’s department and was interviewed about the stolen items and the residence where they had been stolen from. She said Abeyta and Barnes had been taking the items to her residence over a month, and that Abeyta told her that they took the items came from a double-wide trailer he called the “honey hole.”

In an interview with Barnes, he stated that he and Abeyta had gone to the trailer rand shed on two different occasions and had stolen things. Barnes stated that Abeyta was the person who told him about it the residence, and that Abeyta called “the honey hole.

On July 17, 2018 a person contacted the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department and stated that someone had stolen his 2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 Side-by-Side which was valued at $11,500.00 and that was chained to a tree on Ouachita 75 next to his deer camp.

Vaughn described the suspects and the vehicle they were driving. While deputies were responding to the location, they saw a vehicle on Arkansas 24 that fit the description of the suspects’ truck. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle identify the occupants as Barnes and Abeyta. Deputies then asked if they had any information about a stolen side-by side,. Abeyta admitted that they had stolen the side-by-side and hid it in a wooded area along Arkansas 24 and Ouachita 23.

Barnes and Abeyta were taken into custody and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriffs Department.

Both were charged with theft of property worth more than $5,000. CID Investigator Captain David Pennington responded to the scene and took photos of the side-by-side and gathered information, and the side-by-side was located in the area that Abeyta had given.

During the course of the investigation, a witness provided the Criminal Investigation Division with a picture that had been taken on his cellular phone. The picture showed a truck with a side-by-side in the back.

The truck was identified as the suspect’s vehicle, and the side-by-side was the one the belonged to the victim.

Abeyta was also a suspect in a burglary of property on Highway 7 that was stripped of copper tubing, a pressure washer and large air compressor, court documents show.

A search was conducted through www. leadsonline to see if any copper tubing had been scrapped during that particular time-frame. The website shows that during that time, a local metal business had bought tubing from Abeyta. Upon his arrest, Abeyta admitted to stealing the tubing.

Abeyta has previously been convicted of five other felonies.

Court documents also show that Abyeta’s cohort, Barnes, is currently awaiting trial.

Source: https://www.camdenarknews.com/news/2019/feb/19/man-takes-plea-felony-charges/

Serial numbers key to returning stolen property to owners

By Tesina Jackson

February 14, 2019

When thieves steal, the victims want justice — but in most cases, the property is never recovered because the owner doesn’t know the serial numbers.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said for approximately 75 percent of theft reports the sheriff’s office receives, the owner has not jotted down the serial numbers.

“Always record your serial numbers,” he said. “We have a lot higher recovery rate, a lot higher success rate, a lot higher solve rate on reports where people know their serial numbers.”

Even when a thief sometimes removes a serial number from a stolen item, Chennault said, there’s always a hidden serial number.

If the property owner does not know a serial number, the chances of finding a stolen item are very slim.

When the victim discovers property has been stolen, taking immediate action can make a difference.

“It’s important to fill out a report as soon as possible,” said Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King. “Time is not our friend in stolen property cases.”

Other than providing serial numbers, it is helpful to also supply law enforcement officers with photos and a clear description of the stolen item. Most larger items – such as tools, electronics, tractors, trailers, vehicles and firearms – will have serial numbers, while items such as jewelry and clothing typically don’t.

“That’s how we know if we find your stuff,” Chennault said. “We have databases we can search for property that has been pawned. That’s how we can verify that’s your stuff.”

It’s important to have serial numbers so authorities can check databases such as LeadsOnline, which helps authorities access transactions from businesses like pawn shops.

“We’ve gotten a lot of hits on pawn shops outside of Tahlequah that have stolen property,” King said.

King added that he would like to help create a city ordinance that would require all Tahlequah pawn shops to enter their transactions onto a database.

According to a 2012 study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 40 percent of the time, burglars head to a pawn shop to make a quick profit.

“That’s the most help a victim can give us, is to provide serial numbers,” Chennault said. “There are so many databases out there now. Pawn shops in Oklahoma have a database. Their computer system will dump into a database so we can go in and search how many times someone pawned something and what they pawned.”

If a victim believes he knows who stole his property, authorities must still have probable cause to obtain a search warrant from a judge to enter a residence to search. If an item is recovered, authorities sometimes take custody of the property until the closure of the case.

Source: https://www.enidnews.com/oklahoma/news/serial-numbers-key-to-returning-stolen-property-to-owners/article_7c9cc6f7-ba51-5e42-b868-d25d0309cc2d.html

Home health provider arrested after stealing jewelry from disabled man

By Gerald Tracy

February 12th 2019

SAN ANTONIO – Sarah Ann Salas, 20, has been arrested and charged with theft of more than $2,500.

According to an affidavit, an elderly disabled man hired Salas to take care of him.

The victim told officials he believed she took his jewelry without consent sometime in December.

After police investigated, they found six pieces of jewelry on an online pawnshop database.

Police say the victim gave receipts and photos of the stolen jewelry, which confirmed the found jewelry was the stolen property.

The stolen jewelry was recovered and returned.

Source: https://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/home-health-provider-arrested-after-stealing-jewelry-from-disabled-man

Nursing Home Employee Accused Of Stealing, Pawning Patient’s Wedding Ring

By Steve Shaw

February 7, 2019

Oklahoma City, OK – A nursing home employee is accused of stealing an expensive wedding ring right off a patient’s finger. It’s a story News 9 has been following since early January.

Shamira Williams,35, is charged with Felony False Declaration to a Pawn Broker.

Retired Oklahoma City Police Detective Trela Wishon says Williams sold her mother’s 63-year-old wedding ring to Cash America Pawn in Oklahoma City, for $475 on November 29th. Wishon says the ring is worth more than $30,000.

Wishon’s mother Geraldine Whitaker was a patient at Accel at Crystal Park Nursing Home in Oklahoma City in November. Court documents say Williams was an Accel employee when the ring was stolen, and she had access to Geraldine’s room.

Court documents say Williams told the pawn broker she had owned the ring for more than a year.

“It makes me sick,” Wishon said. “Because she lied number one, and especially because she took the rings off my mom’s finger when she was sleeping. That is totally ludicrous.”

Court records show Williams has been in trouble before for writing bad checks. She’s got a handful of mugshots available online.

Whitaker died January 19.

Wishon says her family will still have to go to court to re-claim her mother’s ring.

Source: http://www.news9.com/story/39929157/nursing-home-employee-accused-of-stealing-pawning-patients-wedding-ring

Authorities say two men deceived local pawn shops

By Ivy Anderson

February 6, 2019

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Over the past few weeks, multiple pawn shops throughout Huntsville have been dealing with the Cosley brothers.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says the two men have been stealing credit cards, buying expensive lawn gear over the phone and making money from it.

“Their intent was to steal credit cards when they had an opportunity to buy equipment that they could turn around real quick and then take the money, and use the money probably for more illegal activity,” said Lt. Donny Shaw.

Shaw says the men have been taking the equipment to pawn shops throughout town.

Buster’s Pawn Shop’s pawnbroker Angela Huffman says the brothers came into her store and they bought two lawn mowers from them.

“They walked into our pawn shop and they said we have a zero turn and a push mower we would like you to look at to see if you’d be interested in buying,” said Huffman.

Buster’s Pawn Shop bought the lawn mowers and went about their normal routine of checking the men’s identification, looking at the bill of sale and taking pictures of the men.

Then a few weeks later they got a call from the sheriff’s office telling them to hold the lawn mowers because they had been bought with a stolen credit card.

“And we were shocked because he had the bill of sale, he had everything in order,” said Huffman.

Shaw said on in early January the Mobile Police Department found Nicholas Cosley and arrested him.

“We went down to Mobile and brought him back to Huntsville and placed him in jail on the 13th of January,” said Lt. Shaw.

But the other brother, Nathan Cosley, was never caught. Nicholas is now out on bond.

“One was booked in Madison County but released on bond which it kind of makes you mad because you’re like, ‘okay, you had the money to bond out. Just like that, but you don’t even care that me, us, and another pawn shop is out of $2,500,” said Huffman.

Huffman says the Cosley brothers have been to other states besides Alabama.

“They have been doing this across three states. Mississippi, Georgia and us, and they’ve hit 19 pawn shops,” said Huffman.

“I think the unfortunate loss in this is probably going to be the pawn shops who had been taken unaware of these two guys that stole this equipment,” said Shaw.

And Huffman agrees. She says it will take her shop a while to recover from this.

“When you lose $2,500 in one swipe, you basically have to sell double that to make it up. So it takes a little while for mom and pop pawn shops like us and the ones around Huntsville to recover from that kind of hit,” said Huffman.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says they believe Nathan Cosley has returned to his home in Michigan.

Huffman says she hopes both of the Cosley brothers are given justice for hurting these mom and pop pawn shops.

Source: https://whnt.com/2019/02/06/stolen-credit-cards-have-been-used-at-local-pawn-shops/

First Suspect Pleads Guilty In Aurora Double Murder

By Mike Perleberg

February 4, 2019

(Aurora, Ind.) – A woman who helped murder a Vietnam War veteran and his daughter in Aurora has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder.

Margie Thompson and Cody Booth are accused in the January 17, 2018 murders of Booth’s mother and grandfather, Faith Craig and Walter Bryant, Jr., in the home they shared on Douglas Drive. Upon their arrests, the two allegedly told investigators they woke up “dope sick” and killed Craig and Bryant before taking cash and items to pawn for drug money.

Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens announced Monday that Margie Thompson pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of Murder. She has accepted a plea agreement of 95 years in prison.

“It is all about seeking justice for the families of Walter and Faith,” said Deddens. “Ms. Thompson is 48-years-old and accepted a plea agreement of 95 years in prison. In the State of Indiana, inmates are required to serve 75 percent of their sentence. With Ms. Thompson, the 95 years set forth in the plea agreement is equivalent to 71 actual years in jail. Ms. Thompson will be 119-years-old when she will be released from jail. She, in essence, accepted a life sentence,” explained Deddens.

Formal sentencing for Thompson will be announced by Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey on March 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, two murder charges are still pending against Cody Booth. He faces several other charges, including Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Criminal Confinement, Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Confinement, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

Booth’s trial is currently slated to begin on March 4.

Last month, prosecutors filed a notice that they would forgo pursuit of the death penalty against Booth and Thompson and instead seek sentences of life without parole. Deddens said the decision was made after speaking with the families of Craig and Bryant.

Source: https://www.eaglecountryonline.com/news/local-news/first-suspect-pleads-guilty-in-aurora-double-murder/

Coin shop owner helps murder investigation

By Gianna Giorgi

January 23, 2019

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) – 19-year-old Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman was arrested by the Carson Sheriff’s Office January 19, 2019. He’s suspected to have killed Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in their Gardnerville homes and married couple Gerald and Sharon David in their home in south Reno.

Detectives say the four murders happened between January 9 and January 16.

The Carson City District Attorney’s Office has filed and released a criminal complaint showing some of the property stolen from each of the crime scenes was sold at a coin shop in Carson City.

“We had no I idea it was stolen material,” says Allen Rowe, Northern Nevada Coin owner.

The document reveals that Martinez-Guzman went to Northern Nevada Coin on three different days and sold jewelry that belonged to Gerald David and Connie Koontz; receiving more than five hundred dollars for the items.

Allen Rowe, the owner of Northern Nevada Coin, says he didn’t know who he was buying from.

“There was nothing that alerted us to being out of the ordinary or different. Unfortunately, we just had to deal with someone who was a monster underneath.”

Rowe adds in the 25 years he’s worked in the industry, he has never been involved in a case like this.

“We are always surprised when this happens because being a legitimate business, it doesn’t happen very often. We get a few stolen items here and there but for the most part the criminals or the bad guys know not to sell it here.”

Rowe tells KOLO 8 News Now that’s because his shop is required to have a paper trail for everything.

“We take I.D. on every item that was brought in, we report it each and every day with leads online to the Sheriff’s Office.”

He says when Martinez-Guzman came, the murder suspect gave them a foreign passport for identification.

“The passport name and the name he presented us with, and the police have as a suspect, are the same name.”

Rowe says taking the items to his shop made a tough case easier for authorities.

Source: https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/EXCLUSIVE-Coin-shop-owner–504792481.html

Waterloo pawn rules eyed for improvement

By Tim Jamison

January 8, 2019

WATERLOO — The Waterloo Police Department is looking to upgrade the city’s pawn shop regulations to recover more stolen property.

Maj. Joe Leibold presented the proposed ordinance changes to City Council members Monday and expects to bring them back for adoption in the near future.

Key elements of the plan include a new transaction fee to fund an online service that compares items pawn shops receive to lists of stolen property reported to police.

Leibold said he began doing research on the city’s 20-year-old pawn shop ordinance and met with representatives of the four pawn businesses in Waterloo.

“We started comparing it to other cities and found out we were fairly far behind in how we monitor pawn transactions and trailed (other cities) in a lot of stolen property,” Leibold said. “We were just not having a lot of success.”

The proposed ordinance boosts the surety bond amounts and requires pawn shops to photocopy a government ID when accepting property from a customer. But the biggest change is a new 50-cent transaction fee for each item pawned or sold to the store.

Leibold said the fee will help pay the annual $8,650 cost of using Leads Online, which will instantly compare the pawned items to stolen goods entered into the system. Money leftover from the transaction fee will reimburse pawn shops for items police seize.

“Right now they’re just out the money,” he said. “If we go recover a stolen TV from them, they’re just out the money.”

Using Leads Online will also speed up the process and shorten the time pawn shops must keep items they acquire.

“The pawn shops benefit because right now they’ve got to hold stuff for 30 days to give us time to look,” Leibold said. “Because of the speed, we’ve reduced that time frame to 15 days.”

Leibold said he believes the local pawn shops are supportive of the changes.

“I did not want to affect their business negatively,” he said. “I wanted them to remain competitive and be able to compete in the market.

“They benefit by getting paid back for stolen property and by reducing their holding times,” he added. “We benefit by having the (Leads Online service) essentially paid for by the users.”

Source: https://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/waterloo-pawn-rules-eyed-for-improvement/article_c94084a6-17aa-5008-ad68-bd58c69188c0.html

Serial number on stolen bike, law enforcement database leads to recovery

By Caiti Blase

December 19, 2018

PUEBLO COUNTY – What should you do when a precious item is stolen?

When a Pueblo woman had her bike swiped she not only contacted law enforcement right away, but also kept track of an important set of numbers on the bicycle that led to its recovery.

“When this one was stolen it just broke my heart,” said Paris Elliott. She’s had not one, but two bicycles stolen in the last few years.

“I had been saving up for a few years to buy a new bike after my last one was stolen.”

Her most recent bicycle, she said, was taken just two weeks after she bought it.

“Somebody broke into the back window of the garage and stole the bike.”

Following the break-in she contacted the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office right away and they came to her home.

“Before they left we gave them the serial number to my bike.”

It was that sequence of numbers that led detectives to the EZPawn on Northern and Prairie.

“The serial number came up in some system and when the pawn shop entered the serial number it came up in a system that flagged it as stolen.”

The sheriff’s office did a cross check of the number at the shop and it matched Elliott’s bike.

“I don’t think we would’ve gotten the bike back if it wasn’t for the serial number…keep that serial number with all the rest of your important papers. It’s something that is really important.”

Elliott said this incident has forced her to make some changes. She’s no longer leaving anything nice in the garage and the window will stay boarded up.

Source: https://koaa.com/news/covering-colorado/2018/12/19/serial-number-on-stolen-bike-law-enforcement-database-leads-to-recovery/

Worried your stuff might get stolen? Track your valuables for free with this tool

December 13, 2018

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – With the holiday season well underway, home burglaries are at a high. In the event of a theft, the Huntsville Police Department wants to help make sure you can recover your stolen property as quickly as possible.

During this past year, police started using a database called ‘LeadsOnline.’ The system allows people to take inventory of their valuables by recording serial numbers, photos of property and scans of receipts. If your property goes missing, you’ll be able to print the information from the database and give it to a detective.

Source: https://whnt.com/2018/12/13/huntsville-police-use-online-database-to-track-stolen-property/

Police recommend online system to help residents keep track of valuables

By Katie Finlone

December 8, 2018

DeKALB – The DeKalb Police Department is encouraging all residents to use a free online system to help keep track of personal property, according to a news release.

Report It is a free, secure online service that allows residents to record serial numbers and upload images for phones, electronics and other valuables. It is part of LeadsOnline, an online system that police agencies across the country use to track and recover stolen property.

The DeKalb Police Department believes having the information will go a long way in accurately and quickly identifying lost or stolen property, the release said.

The DeKalb Police Department has used LeadsOnline since 2013 to help track and recover stolen property, including sporting equipment, electronics, computers, cameras, designer clothing and collectibles. When an item is sold to a pawn or secondhand shop, the product information is entered into the LeadsOnline database and is immediately viewable by participating law enforcement agencies across the country. It also may be useful when filing insurance claims for lost or stolen property, according to the release.

To log personal valuables, visit reportit.leadsonline.com.

Source: https://www.daily-chronicle.com/2018/12/07/police-recommend-online-system-to-help-residents-keep-track-of-valuables/am6511j/

Philippi Police urge citizens to use system to track personal inventory

By Austin Pollack

December 8, 2018

PHILIPPI, W.Va (WDTV) – It’s the season of giving, but also the season of stealing.

A warning for you that you’ve heard over and over again — lock your doors and protect your valuables. Philippi Police say there’s a way for you to track your belongings in case something is stolen. Perhaps — a system they use could help you get it back.

“I always say put your wallet in your front pocket because we do have some pick pockets out there,” said Chief Jeff Walters.

Philippi Police has partnered with Leads Online. This helps you keep an inventory of your property and if it’s stolen, it can actually be entered into a system.

“You can log your property with this system, with serial numbers, photos, descriptions, and basically that information will be kept in a secure place,” Walters said.

You can enter anything from handguns with the serial numbers or any other valuable. Walters says having the serial number can increase the chances of actually getting your stolen property back, especially though the help of the system.

“With this system also, once it’s reported into the system as being stolen, it will go out to every pawn shop, every scrap yard, a bunch of law enforcement agencies all over the nation,” Walters said.

“We’ve already had one real good success story being able to recover a stolen firearm clear in Arizona,” he added.

Walters says when something stolen is entered into the system, it will scan pawnshops and other places that may input the inventory they receive. It can also help different law enforcement agencies connect for the benefit of the public.

“I got an e-mail from the company and it told me it was in a pawn shop at such and such place.It gave me a law enforcement contact if I wanted to have somebody go there and check it for me,” Walters said.

If you want to learn more, check out the Philippi Police Department Facebook Page.

Source: https://www.wdtv.com/content/news/Philippi-Police-urge-citizens-to-use-system-to-track-personal-inventory–1.html

New Niagara County pawn shop law aims to make it harder for thieves to sell stolen items

By Kaley Lynch

December 5, 2018

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) – A new Niagara County law aims to make it more difficult for stolen items to be sold to secondhand dealers.

The “Niagara County Pawn Law” creates a new licensing and reporting program for property acquired by pawnbrokers, jewelry and coin exchange dealers, junk dealers and other secondhand dealers in the county.

The legislation creates these regulations:

Requires background checks and licensing of all pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers, junk dealers, scrap processors, jewelry, precious metals and coin exchange dealers in the County of Niagara

Prohibits dealers from purchasing any items from an individual under the age of 18

Requires dealers to wait a minimum of 14 days before destroying or disposing of any items and allows the Sheriff to extend that period for up to 90 additional days

Requires dealers to verify the identification and contact information of all customers and maintain accurate, detailed, and photographic records of all items collected an sold

Requires dealers to report all items collected and sold to LEADS online

Requires all items established to have been stolen to be turned over to local law enforcement

“This new law will implement the strongest regulations in Niagara County in deterring those who wish to profit from their crimes, and helping those who have been victimized recover their stolen property,” Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour said in a statement Wednesday. “It will give us the ability to recover stolen property and enhance our investigations by removing anonymity from transactions at these businesses.”

Source: https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/new-niagara-county-pawn-shop-law-aims-to-make-it-harder-for-thieves-to-sell-stolen-items/1641285876

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

By Mark Hallum

December 3, 2018

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/

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

By Mark Hallum

December 3, 2018

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/

Maywood Police Introduce Online Inventory To Combat Burglaries

By Michael Romain

December 1, 2018

The Maywood Police Department recently announced the establishment of a citizen’s property inventory.

The system allows residents to “take inventory of their valuables (i.e., snow blowers, lawnmowers, electronics, jewelry, etc.), photograph them and have this record maintained at the police department,” according to a statement released Nov. 30.

Residents can register their valuables at no cost through the Leads Online website (reportit.leadsonline.com).

During a regular meeting on Nov. 24, Maywood Police Officers Lizet Ochoa and Christopher Mullaney — members of the department’s Burglary Prevention Unit — explained that the new system makes it easier for police to track stolen items.

The database, the officers explained, allows the police to narrow down the time the item was stolen and where the burglar intends to resell it—whether at a pawn shop or on Facebook.

“If someone wants to pawn or resell the item, law enforcement can get the number and track who is selling it and where,” said Mullaney.

Ochoa said that once residents have registered their valuables in the online inventory, they’ll be able to process a report if any of those items are stolen.

“In the case that [residents] are a victim of a burglary, the Maywood Police Department would have a complete inventory of the items taken, serial number and photographs which would assist in the recovery of the property and the apprehension of the criminals,” according to the department’s statement.

Ochoa said that officers will assist elderly, disabled and other residents who may need help registering their valuables into the system or who may not have access to a computer and/or the internet.

Mullaney and Ochoa also presented some tips on how residents can avoid getting burglarized. They said that 65 percent of burglaries are residential and 62 percent of those happen between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to national statistics. Statistics for Maywood, Mullaney added, aligns with the national data.

Homes without security systems, he said, are three to four times more likely to get burglarized.

Among tips for preventing burglary:

Get secondary blocking devices for windows and doors, which make it more difficult for burglars to gain entry.
Get motion sensors/lights for your home, garage and/or alleyways.
Get timed lights for inside and outside of the home. Timed lighting gives the impression that someone is home during early evening hours.
Get an alarm system. Many are inexpensive and wireless. Alarm systems may possibly decrease the amount you pay for homeowners and renters insurance.
Get a security door bar (charley bar) at a local hardware store. They range between $15 and $35.
Make sure that you have metal door frames and secure sliding doors and windows with blocking devices.
Make sure you have a safe lockbox for valuables like jewelry and cash.
Always ask to see credentials for ID before allowing entry to your home.
Close curtains/blinds to avoid visual of your house layout.
Change access codes periodically and replace worn out keypad entry devices.
Secure ladders, tools and other outside objects in the garage or shed.
Do not store spare keys under a rock, mat, etc.; instead, leave them with a trusted family member, friend or neighbor.
Make sure your home address is visible for first responders.

If on vacation:

Inform a trusted neighbor.
Leave a car parked in the driveway in front of your house.
Get timed lighting to make your home appear occupied.
Arrange for mail pickup, snow removal or lawn care service.
Advise police of your vacation timeframe.
Be a good neighbor:
If you know they’re away from home, keep an eye out.
If you see something or someone alarming, do NOT hesitate to call police.

Source: https://thevillagefreepress.org/2018/12/01/maywood-police-introduce-online-inventory-to-combat-burglaries/

Website helps police, business owners identify stolen goods

By Josh Robinson

November 30, 2018

SAVANNAH, Tenn. — LeadsOnline is a website helping both police and businesses, such as pawnshops, who are required to report their transactions to police.

Brad Smith owns a pawn shop in Savannah. “It enables police to have one database, to search all items, and that way it weeds out anything that might be stolen,” he said.

Savannah police have recently started using LeadsOnline.

“It tracks serial numbers, it tracks Craigslist transactions, it tracks eBay,” Savannah Police Chief Michael Pitts said. “So it’s a pretty impressive database that has a nationwide reach.”

Chief Pitts says with Hardin County bordering both Mississippi and Alabama, it will be a great tool to track stolen property coming into and leaving Tennessee.

While you might think police will mainly use this to track the guns that come into pawnshops, there’s much more to it than that. They’ll also use it to track items including guitars, lawn equipment, televisions — anything with a serial number.

“We can enter a stolen item with a serial number, and it runs continuously for the next 90 days checking nationwide,” Chief Pitts said.

And Smith says, with this website, they might be able to return stolen property to its owner.

“We will participate. Hopefully that will make it easier for them, better for us and better for everybody in the community,” Smith said.

Community members can also use LeadsOnline to help keep track of the serial numbers of their own belongings.

Source: https://www.wbbjtv.com/2018/11/30/website-helps-police-business-owners-identify-stolen-goods/

Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office using new resources to combat crime

By Samantha Williams

November 28, 2018

WAYNESBORO, Ga. – Incidents like the one in Alabama and Warrenville, SC are why the Burke County Sheriff’s Office just got some new resources to help combat crime… And possibly save lives.

As of 2 weeks ago, Burke County deputies have an additional option to take down suspects and defend themselves.

This gun looks and sounds real, but instead of bullets, small beanbags are released when the trigger is pulled. Now, along with pepper spray, tasers and batons, law enforcement can use non-lethal guns during conflict.

Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard explained there is a time and place for each weapon: “Less lethal options are great, but if you are a single officer and lethal force is potentially going to be used against you, you only have one option, and that is lethal force. You don’t go for something that might for instead of something that will work. If you have a knife or you are going for that officer’s gun, lethal option is what they are going to choose.”

Just like with regular guns, deputies train to learn how to use the weapon. So far, Burke County has 2 guns per shift, but they are looking to buy more.

Also, the sheriff’s office is using a website to help people recover stolen items.

More times than not, people don’t get back valuables that are stolen during home and car break-ins. But the Burke County Sheriff’s Office is now using a website that helps people, more easily, get back stolen items. It does take the participation of people living in the community and pawn shops for it to succeed.

That website is called LEADS-ONLINE. You make a password protected profile and then upload pictures, descriptions, and receipts of items you want to keep track of. Then, when people are robbed and the suspect sells those valuables to pawn shops, it will all be tracked on the site.

Pawn shops in the area are strongly urged to also upload all new items that come into their stores in case there is a match down the road.

“I’ve seen over the years where we have used these types of leads to solve murders,” Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said. “I was a violent crimes investigator for a number of years, and there were numerous cases where we used pawn shops and pawn reports to develop suspects in homicides and robberies. It is a valuable tool and one that has certainly paid off in Burke County.”

Richmond, Columbia, and Aiken Counties also take advantage of the website. Each person can document up to 100 valuables, and it is free to use.

Source: https://www.wjbf.com/news/csra-news/burke-co-sheriff-s-office-using-new-resources-to-combat-crime/1624096554

Pawn King owner touts company’s willingness to curtail criminal activity

By Mike Pettinella

November 23, 2018

The owner of the Pawn King store at 4150 Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia says he would support a proposed county law designed to limit criminal activity as long as it doesn’t handcuff his efforts to maximize sales.

“As far as a local law is concerned, I really don’t have a problem with a licensing fee – which I believe is a money grab for towns – but the thing that I find to be constitutionally inappropriate is that a township can dictate the number of specific items we could buy (from one person) in a calendar year,” said Christopher Fernandez of Syracuse.

Fernandez and his wife own 10 Pawn King shops – five in the Syracuse area, and one each in Evans Mills (north of Watertown), Utica, Auburn, Buffalo and Batavia.

He spoke by telephone today as a follow-up to news that the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service and Ways and Means committees are backing a proposed law drafted by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman at the request of the Sheriff’s Office.

Local law enforcement contends that the law is necessary to assist police in finding and recovering stolen property, and apprehend those who steal other people’s property – and, in many cases, head to the pawn shop.

While the proposed law does include a provision for licensing (at a cost of $150 annually), it does not set limits on products bought and sold as referred to by Fernandez, who repeatedly said his company policy is to work with police agencies to catch criminals.

“While there are (currently) no requirements in Batavia for licensing, our purchase procedure is to collect 22 points of identification, and we will provide full disclosure (to police),” Fernandez said. “Anything they request, we can get. If they need to know who, when, an address, driver’s license, we have it.”

Fernandez said he invests around $25,000 per year for the Bravo computerized tracking system, or database, where “every single thing is reported.”

He said that he has data on 67,000 customers.

“The way to defeat crime is data collection, not limiting my efforts to make money,” he said. “If you limit me, you’ll just have others selling stuff from their trunks and have no data to track what is being sold.”

He mentioned LeadsOnline, a private company that is used by law enforcement to track the acquisition of used merchandise by dealers. He said he has LeadsOnline in all of his stores, except Batavia, but is willing to set it up if Batavia or Genesee County law enforcement wishes to purchase a subscription.

Fernandez also said his company’s policy requires sellers to sign a document dealing with the origin of the product(s).

“They’re breaking the law if they lie about it – it’s a misdemeanor – but because they’re signing my document, it goes from a misdemeanor to a felony change for falsifying records,” he said.

Among the businesses listed under the proposed local law’s definitions are secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers, tags that describe Fernandez’s shops.

“In Buffalo and Evans Mills, I have to have pawnbroker’s licenses, which includes bonding at an extra $1,000 per year,” he said, “but we do no pledged loans whatsoever … no loaning of money period. When I take something in, I buy it. But the previous owner has the first right to buy it back. There’s no contract, just a handshake agreement. We’ve established good relationships with our customers.”

Fernandez said the secondhand dealer designation fits his business model.

“In the other stores we have secondhand dealers’ licenses because we take used and sometimes new merchandise and move it on to the consumer – hopefully for a profit.”

When it was brought up by this reporter that the Batavia Pawn King has been accused of providing a list of goods it is interested in receiving from the Walmart across the street, Fernandez said that was “ridiculous.”

“That violates every single fiber of my company handbook,” he said. “We started this 15 year ago with a hole in the wall, a plastic table and copy machine, and we have built it by doing things the right way.”

A public hearing on the proposed local law is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Old County Courthouse. If it ultimately passes, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Exemptions from the proposed law include garage sales, yard sales, estate sales and moving sales (with some stipulations), sales by nonprofit or charitable organizations, licensed auctions, jewelry and coin dealers (with stipulations), motor vehicles and legitimate antique/trade shows.

Source: https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/pawn-king-owner-touts-companys-willingness-to-curtail-criminal-activity/525418

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