“One other detective and I attended the LeadsOnline Metal Theft Investigation Training located at the Bentonville Police Department in Northwest Arkansas. Along with the LeadsOnline representative, special agents with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office presented the material aimed at assisting law enforcement with metal theft investigations. Detective Srader and I had already utilized the LeadsOnline program to assist in solving many crimes committed within and outside of our jurisdiction. Having thought we knew most of what we needed to know about the program, we quickly realized we were mistaken. The LeadsOnline program can be utilized in more ways than we had originally thought. Detective Srader and I are tasked with investigating the majority of the property crimes within our county and we have two main goals. The first of which is to recover the stolen property and return it to the owner and the second is the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
Last month, we began utilizing the LeadsOnline system to track down stolen items that had previously been entered into NCIC. Prior to the training received two months ago, Detective Srader and I were unaware that NCIC entries were uploaded into LeadsOnline and would be displayed if the items were sold. After manually looking through several entries involving our jurisdiction, we came across a bolt action rifle that had been reported stolen in 2003. Further investigation revealed the home of the owner was burglarized that year. An investigation never ensued as there was no evidence or leads at that time. In fact, little information was obtained from that investigation because the sheriff’s office had changed their software. The dispatchers that were contacted to confirm the NCIC entry were forced to manually look through old files to find the entry form. Ultimately, we were able to make contact with owner and informed him the rifle had been sold at a business in Springdale, Arkansas earlier this year. During our conversation with the owner, he was in disbelief. Not only had we located his stolen gun but he was amazed that we were still trying to investigate a burglary case from 2003. The owner further stated the rifle contained much sentimental value as it had been passed down through his family and was eventually given to him. The rifle was seized from the business and provided to the owner two days after it was sold. Once again, the owner was in disbelief and was actually speechless as we provided the rifle to him.
I am writing this letter to thank all persons involved with the aforementioned training. Even though they were not present during this investigation, they played a significant role as the owner’s rifle would have never been located without their help. It is cases such as these that help bring communities together and strengthen the bond between law enforcement agencies and the citizens they’ve sworn to serve.”
Det. Scott Sullivan
Benton County Sheriff’s Office