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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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 (

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release


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.


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.


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


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.


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

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.


New online tool helps property owners recover stolen items

By Christa Wood

August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

The website address for sign-up for this free service is:


Omaha pawn shop protocol regarding stolen items

By Karla James

July 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Madison Township police using database to track lost, stolen property

By Jonathan Tressler

July 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madison man charged with selling stolen firearm

July 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By Maria Catanzarite

July 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Suspect charged with felony bail jumping

July 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Man gets prison in $263k jewelry burglary

By Nick Morgan

June 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s crazy,” Schulzke said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bryant was arrested May 1, court documents show.

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

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

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

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


LCSO: Man stole from neighbor who helped him

June 28, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

By Kenny Ocker

June 26, 2018

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

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

According to charging documents:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

June 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By Aaron Barker

June 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

June 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


2 served with warrants for home burglary while behind bars

By Samantha Forester

June 12th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Police: Using ReportIt can help victims of theft

By Erin McSwain-Davis

June 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dane man accused of theft

June 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

June 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

Both were arrested and charged with theft of copper.


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

By Kevin Robinson

May 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The robbers reportedly took some cash and fled on foot.

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

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

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

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


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

May 27th, 2018

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

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

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

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

There is no cost to use the service.

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


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