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/

EXCLUSIVE: 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

Augusta agencies offer safety advice for holidays

By Jozsef Papp

November 21, 2018

Law enforcement agencies in the area want to make sure people take safety precautions while shopping this holiday season.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree encourages people to be more aware of their surroundings this time of year when people usually have access to more cash, which doesn’t go unnoticed by criminals.

“Criminals are aware of that, so people need to be aware of that. I tell people all the time, especially when you are shopping, when you are going out, have a plan,” Roundtree said. “Don’t just get out, just go. Have a plan on where you are going, shop with friends. If you are going to go to your car, store your items where they are not visible.”

Maj. Steve Morris with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said members of their Special Operations Unit will be conducting surveillance and extra patrols will be assigned to monitor business establishments. Morris encourages shoppers to contact law enforcement if they see or hear something suspicious.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office recommends people use the online system LeadsOnline, which helps residents keep track of their valuables and is useful in recovering property in a loss or theft.

“Although our investigators have been using LeadsOnline for a short time period, it has proven to be very instrumental in the recovery of stolen items and in the identification of suspects,” Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard said. “With information provided by LeadsOnline, our investigators have been able to track down thieves, develop leads in numerous cases and make arrests.”

All three agencies encourage people to shop with a friend or family member and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Roundtree encourages people to not get easily distracted by their surroundings so they are less of a target for criminals.

“Most criminals work on crimes of opportunity. That is what people have to understand,” Roundtree said. “If they make themselves less of a target, then they are less likely to be a victim.”

Source: https://www.augustachronicle.com/news/20181121/augusta-agencies-offer-safety-advice-for-holidays

Primera man sought by police in connection to missing guns

By Raul Garcia

November 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omaha man pawns stolen gun connected to 1998 Seward County homicide

By Alia Conley

November 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jimmie E. Gates

October 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By David Goodhue

October 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sarah Stewart

October 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They say Perez sold 189 items from June through September.

Cody Taber sold 81 items during that same time period.

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

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

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

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

Theft victim angered by pawn shop policy

By Leeanna Ellis

September 28, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DeKalb pawn shop ordinance amended

By Andrew Kinge

September 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Carie Canterbury

September 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cecilia man accused of stealing $1,100 chainsaw

September 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LeadsOnline Offers Training for Law Enforcement Aimed at Reducing Agricultural Theft

By Sarah Ulmer

September 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release

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

Former Baylor defensive lineman arrested and charged with theft

By Micah Fleet

August 31, 2018

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

Baylor football dismissed Johnson from the team on Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sherae Honeycutt

August 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Bend police warn of increase in thefts from vehicles

August 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stolen Xbox leads to felony theft charges

August 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

August 15, 2018

By Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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