LeadsOnline Offers Training for Law Enforcement Aimed at Reducing Agricultural Theft

By Sarah Ulmer

September 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release

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

Former Baylor defensive lineman arrested and charged with theft

By Micah Fleet

August 31, 2018

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

Baylor football dismissed Johnson from the team on Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sherae Honeycutt

August 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Bend police warn of increase in thefts from vehicles

August 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stolen Xbox leads to felony theft charges

August 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

August 15, 2018

By Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: reportit.leadsonline.com.

Source: https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/local-news/new-online-tool-helps-property-owners-recover-stolen-items/1350915287

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.

Source: https://nebraskaradionetwork.com/2018/07/31/omaha-pawn-shop-protocol-regarding-stolen-items/

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 reportit.leadsonline.com 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.

Source: http://www.hngnews.com/waunakee_tribune/news/local/article_45fb2462-2e47-5191-a726-8f335c05bafa.html

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 leadsonline.com. 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.

Source: http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Police-urging-people-to-sign-up-for-free-website-to-record-info-on-valuables-488142411.html

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.

Source: http://www.waupacanow.com/2018/07/11/stolen-bike-found-at-pawn-shop/

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.”

Source: http://mailtribune.com/news/crime-courts-emergencies/man-gets-prison-in-263k-jewelry-burglary

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.

Source: http://www.wcjb.com/content/news/LCSO-Man-stole-from-neighbor-who-helped-him–486857251.html

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.

Source: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article213882119.html

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.

Source: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/38488491/house-guest-accused-of-stealing-35000-worth-of-jewelry

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.

Source: https://www.click2houston.com/news/arrest-made-in-theft-of-30k-in-home-depot-merchandise

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.

Source: http://www.kait8.com/story/38450068/woman-suspected-of-stealing-11k-worth-of-jewelry-and-guitars

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.

Source: http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/38408048/2-served-with-warrants-for-home-burglary-while-behind-bars

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.”

Source: http://www.times-georgian.com/news/local/police-using-reportit-can-help-victims-of-theft/article_18e12c70-aa78-5372-bbdb-f1ee008206f2.html

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.

Source: http://www.hngnews.com/waunakee_tribune/news/business/article_abf0cb23-b695-5512-8a7b-93a8abc941fe.html

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.

Source: http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/men-accused-of-stealing-more-than-22000-pounds-of-copper-wire

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.

Source: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/05/31/pensacola-family-held-gunpoint-robbers-ransacked-home-ecso-says/659366002/

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.

Source: http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/38287987/free-service-helps-east-ridge-police-locate-stolen-property-find-thieves

City updates ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers

By Tara Melton

May 11, 2018

ALAMOGORDO &endash; City Commissioners approved updating the ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers at their Tuesday meeting.

“There’s a program online called Leads Online and it’s a program that’s free for the pawnshop brokers,” said Police Chief Brian Peete. “Our property crimes are driven primarily through drugs. So when individuals’ homes are broken into, when bikes are stolen, more often than not the perpetrators are going to go to a pawnshop and pawn the items.”

Peete explained that through this online program pawnshops are able to electronically record all the information that comes with the item, such as who brought the item, serial numbers, descriptions and take images of the item.

“Our detectives and officers responding to these calls can jump on Leads Online and type (for example) ‘gold watch’ and see if someone brought that to a pawnshop within the area,” Peete said. “This is something Las Cruces and El Paso are doing, so we can pull up what individuals are pawning in all other locations.”

Currently, Peete said the Alamogordo Police Department only receives written descriptions of items from local pawnshops.

“Because our personnel power is pretty low, this is something that would help us tremendously in moving quickly to apprehend individuals we suspect of property crimes,” Peete said.

City Attorney Petria Schreiber added the pawnshop records are currently being kept, the only thing the city is adding are photo documentation of the items and the information is uploaded to Leads Online.

“They are required to keep these records in our ordinance and in state law, this is not a new thing that we’re requiring,” Schreiber said.

Commissioners Josh Rardin and Susan Payne expressed their concerns with how this will effect local thrift stores.

“We’re not (regulating) thrift stores,” Schreiber said. “If you look in the ordinance… (it covers) non-profit or charitable secondhand goods or thrift shops. They are absolutely excluded from this entire ordinance.”

Commissioner Al Hernandez brought up illegal pop-up garage sales out of the back of vehicles.

“One of the things I’ve seen as of late is people bringing truckloads of crap and setting it up at the Fairgrounds,” Hernandez said. “Last weekend they were set up at the bank on White Sands Boulevard next to Blake’s. I’ve seen them at Allsup’s on Canal. They’re just popping up and to me, it’s ugly. I don’t know where these people come from or what they’re doing, but I think as we’re adding and changing ordinances we need to enforce the ones we already have.”

Schreiber responded that she’d work with Peete to address those issues.

Hernandez motioned to approve updating the ordinance, Rardin seconded the item and the motion was approved 6-0.

Source: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/2018/05/11/city-updates-ordinance-pertaining-pawnbrokers/603067002/

Alamogordo council backs update to pawnbrokers ordinance

By Casey Torres

May 14, 2018

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – Albuquerque city councilors have proposed tighter regulations on pawn shops in an effort to lower property crime rates, and they’re not alone. Last week, the City of Alamogordo tentatively approved an update to its ordinance on pawnshops.

The final decision on the ordinance will be made in June. If passed, pawnbrokers must ditch the paper trail and input information from sellers in an online database.

“There’s a company called Leads Online and what Leads Online does, it computerizes and it tracks items that are pawned or sold to pawn shops,” Police Chief Brian Peete said.

Peete said the program will cost the department about $4,000 per year and it will be paid for with taxpayer money. The new ordinance does not apply to thrift stores, only pawnshops.

“It’s been a long time since we have had an actual item that was brought in stolen,” said Robert Estrada, who owns G I Joe Pawn Shop. It happens but not as often as people think.”

Every day, Estrada sends in his logs for the items he’s purchased. He includes a description of the item and the identifications of the sellers.

Peete said it’s not easy to find stolen items solely on a description on paper. With the online program, pawnbrokers will also have to input a picture of the item and serial numbers.

“We have access to know real time what it was that they’ve been given and if someone’s house was stolen again,” Peete said. “We go (to Leads Online), you find and get a description of the item, put it into the computer and you have a possible identifier.”

Peete adds that this new system will cut the time it takes to find an item and allow officers to focus on other cases.

Estrada said he doesn’t mind more regulations, as long as they help cut down on crime.

Source: https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/alamogordo-city-council-pawnbrokers-ordinance-update/4907524/

City updates ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers

By Tara Melton

May 11, 2018

ALAMOGORDO – City Commissioners approved updating the ordinance pertaining to pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers at their Tuesday meeting.

“There’s a program online called Leads Online and it’s a program that’s free for the pawnshop brokers,” said Police Chief Brian Peete. “Our property crimes are driven primarily through drugs. So when individuals’ homes are broken into, when bikes are stolen, more often than not the perpetrators are going to go to a pawnshop and pawn the items.”

Peete explained that through this online program pawnshops are able to electronically record all the information that comes with the item, such as who brought the item, serial numbers, descriptions and take images of the item.

“Our detectives and officers responding to these calls can jump on Leads Online and type (for example) ‘gold watch’ and see if someone brought that to a pawnshop within the area,” Peete said. “This is something Las Cruces and El Paso are doing, so we can pull up what individuals are pawning in all other locations.”

Currently, Peete said the Alamogordo Police Department only receives written descriptions of items from local pawnshops.

“Because our personnel power is pretty low, this is something that would help us tremendously in moving quickly to apprehend individuals we suspect of property crimes,” Peete said.

City Attorney Petria Schreiber added the pawnshop records are currently being kept, the only thing the city is adding are photo documentation of the items and the information is uploaded to Leads Online.

“They are required to keep these records in our ordinance and in state law, this is not a new thing that we’re requiring,” Schreiber said.

Commissioners Josh Rardin and Susan Payne expressed their concerns with how this will effect local thrift stores.

“We’re not (regulating) thrift stores,” Schreiber said. “If you look in the ordinance… (it covers) non-profit or charitable secondhand goods or thrift shops. They are absolutely excluded from this entire ordinance.”

Commissioner Al Hernandez brought up illegal pop-up garage sales out of the back of vehicles.

“One of the things I’ve seen as of late is people bringing truckloads of crap and setting it up at the Fairgrounds,” Hernandez said. “Last weekend they were set up at the bank on White Sands Boulevard next to Blake’s. I’ve seen them at Allsup’s on Canal. They’re just popping up and to me, it’s ugly. I don’t know where these people come from or what they’re doing, but I think as we’re adding and changing ordinances we need to enforce the ones we already have.”

Schreiber responded that she’d work with Peete to address those issues.

Hernandez motioned to approve updating the ordinance, Rardin seconded the item and the motion was approved 6-0.

Source: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/2018/05/11/city-updates-ordinance-pertaining-pawnbrokers/603067002/

Pawn shop owner helps officers nab suspect wanted for theft

By Kelly Wiley

May 9, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – If there’s one thing Greg Driggers doesn’t like it’s a thief.

“We have been here 35 years and it’s a stigma that goes along with this business. Everybody thinks ‘how can you take in stolen merchandise?’ Well, that’s not true,” said Greg Driggers, AAA Gun, and Pawn.

So, when Douglas Braham brought in a practically new Dyson vacuum into his pawn shop, claiming it was his grandmothers’ who had just passed away, he asked questions.

“I’m kind of curious because it’s in the box, but are we going to have a problem with this out of any of your family or anything?”

“He assured me. ‘Oh no we are not going to have any problems’ well he lied to me.”

Big time.

“Apparently he walked out of some department store and straight into this store.”

You see every time they take something in, they also take your photo, your thumbprint, and photo ID.

Then every night they run it all through a site called LeadsOnline.

Once they ran Braham’s name, they got a phone call from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“I said let me guess it’s a Dyson, I said yep. That son of a gun. You know. ”

And then another call from the alleged thief looking to sell more.

“We knew he was coming and notified the sheriff’s office.”

Turns out Braham’s rap sheet was longer than a vacuum cord. He’s been arrested multiple times in Florida too.

Kelly: Did you have any last words for Braham?

Greg: Bye!

AAA Gun and Pawn isn’t the only shop in town using LeadsOnline to filter out the bad guys and stolen goods.

Richmond County adopted an ordinance in 2013 mandating all purchasers of second-hand goods do the same.

“The people are going to get the merchandise back and the bad guys are going to go to jail, just cut and dry.”

After the ordinance was put in place in 2013, Richmond County’s Sheriff’s Office did an undercover sting and cited at least seven different pawn shops not following the proper protocol of taking proper records to see if the merchandise was stolen.

Stolen guns can bring bigger crimes

By Ariana Garza

April 19, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As the debate over gun control continues, many criminals can already get free guns from people who don’t properly secure their legal firearms.

Guns are often stolen from vehicles — some of which are even left unlocked — or from homes during burglaries.

Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston said stolen guns can later be used to commit violent crimes, such as robberies or homicides.

Pawn shops work with police to prevent the sale of stolen guns.

“We hold things — if we purchase something — for 18 business days,” Mitch Smith, owner of Golden Pawn and Jewelry, said. “If we pawn something we hold it for two months before it goes out and it gives police ample time to check and see if the gun is not stolen or anything of that nature.”

Pawn shops also use the online database LeadsOnline to run a check of each gun that comes through their doors through a national database that stores information on stolen guns.
If a gun is flagged as stolen, police will step in to investigate.

Smith said someone tries to sell a stolen gun to his shop about once every six months.

That is why he double and triple checks each prospective seller’s information and runs background checks.

In order for police and the national database to be successful, gun owners should keep a record of the make, model, serial number and any other description of each gun.

Having that information handy in the event a gun is stolen will give investigators the best chance of finding it and returning it to you once the investigation is complete.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives — or ATF — provides a free personal firearms record sheet online.

To lower the risk of theft in the first place, Birmingham police recommend always locking your vehicle doors and installing a gun safe in your vehicle.

Police also recommend keeping your gun locked and unloaded at home and secured in a safe.

If you do not have a safe, Lt. Williston recommended a practice called “stealth” which essentially means hiding the gun in a non-obvious place, rather than leaving it on or in your nightstand.

Source: http://www.cbs42.com/news/local/stolen-guns-can-bring-bigger-crimes/1098100446

Military gear makes it way through pawn market

By Kelsey Stiglitz

April 19, 2018

While stolen goods may come into pawn shops, military gear or surplus goods sometimes come in less than honestly too.

A Jacksonville woman has been accused of selling her husband’s military gear.

Jessica Ann Rodgers, 29, of Baysden Drive in Jacksonville was charged Monday by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with felony larceny, felony possession of stolen property and four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

According to warrants, Rodgers is accused of selling her husband’s military gear without his knowledge or consent at the Southern Trade Emporium on 111 Marine Blvd.

According to Major Chris Thomas with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, it was a domestic situation and Rodgers was charged because the gear she allegedly sold belonged to the military, not her husband.

Thomas said the couple is estranged, and Rodgers’ husband was not aware of the alleged sale until he discovered he was missing gear. He contacted law enforcement to report the stolen gear.

Devon Wagner, the manager of Southern Trade Emporium, said there’s no way to verify stolen gear at the time of sale, but the sheriff’s office uses LeadsOnline to keep up with reports of stolen property.

When Wagner buys a new item, he records it in LeadsOnline and then staff waits a week before it is placed on the floor. This allows cases to be solved by law enforcement, if items pawned or sold are stolen.

“It’s a gamble for us,” Wagner said. “If police come in and take it we don’t get anything back.”

In the case of an estranged military spouse, Wagner said those kinds of sales are common, but he sees even more cases of family members selling items for other motives. And in many cases, the family member whose property is in question will forgive and forget, making it hard for the pawn shop to seek reimbursement.

“The sad part is most of the time the family member drops the case,” Wagner said.

Wagner said he’s seen his share of suspicious sales, especially when clients come in with an excessive amount of issued military gear.

“We’ve had a couple instances like a truck full of brand-new military boots,” Wagner said. “When it’s something that you’re only issued one of, that’s the clear signs but that’s really it.”
Rodgers’ bond was set at $15,000 and she remained in custody as of late Wednesday, according to VineLink.

She is scheduled to appear in Onslow County district court on May 8 for these charges, according to N.C. Courts.

Wagner jokingly gave advice to people wanting to pawn items, saying, “Don’t sell stolen stuff.”

Source: http://www.jdnews.com/news/20180419/military-gear-makes-it-way-through-pawn-market

One suspect charged in purchase order scam

By Kenneth Russell

April 19, 2018

The Odessa Police Department has made one arrest in connection with a purchase order scam involving the theft of oilfield equipment, automotive parts and tires from several local businesses, with more arrests expected.

Kenneth Randall Russell, 32, was charged at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after a theft was reported earlier that day by Loving Electric Company, where Russell was employed, an OPD news release stated. Russell reportedly made two purchase orders from suppliers totaling more than $10,000.

The items consisted of copper wire and miscellaneous tools, the release detailed. Russell was later found and interviewed by detectives, where he admitted to appropriating the stolen property and selling it to pawn shops and metal scrap yards.

Police charged Russell with theft of property, a state jail felony.

Jail records show Russell was taken to the Ector County Detention Center Thursday. No bond was set as of Thursday morning.

OPD Spokesman Steve LeSueur said Russell is connected to a number of recent felony theft reports from local businesses involving current or former employees filling out purchase orders with fake names and fake account numbers.

The suspects are then selling or pawning the stolen property, the release stated, with one case involving about $30,000 worth of stolen tires.
LeSueur said more arrests are expected in the investigation.

OPD is encouraging local businesses to check identification cards and verify all information while completing purchase orders, and anyone with information regarding any of these recent cases is encouraged to contact OPD at 432-333-3641 or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS.

Source: http://m.oaoa.com/news/crime_justice/law_enforcement/article_58416676-440b-11e8-9eb7-ff122c3d9871.html?mode=jqm

Property crime spike prompts for designated police unit

By Abby Paeth

April 9, 2018

Last September, Morgan Leopold, senior in Media, and Alaina Murphy, senior in Business, became victims of a property crime when their house in Champaign was robbed.

This property crime was one of 2,223 reported in Champaign in 2017. The number is part of a recent spike in property crimes.

In 2016, 2,981 property crimes were reported in Champaign, which increased by 53 percent from the previous year, according to the Champaign Police Department.

In Illinois, 262,306 property crimes were reported in 2016, according to the Disaster Center, and 7,919,035 property crimes were reported in the U.S., according to the FBI. Both the Disaster Center and the FBI have not released the statistics for 2017.

According to the FBI, a property crime includes burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson and personal property theft.

Leopold said the perpetrator came into their house in Champaign between midnight and 5 a.m. She believes the perpetrator came in through the downstairs front window, which is usually left unlocked.

A cell phone, a wallet, a GoPro camera and several purses were taken from the house. Leopold, Murphy and two other roommates were asleep in the residence at the time. They reported the property crime to the police that morning, but the perpetrator was never found.

“I personally was really freaked out at first,” Leopold said. “It just weirded me out that someone was in our house, and we had no clue.”

Murphy said the perpetrator took her wallet from her desk while she was asleep in the same room.

“Even today, I don’t feel as comfortable in my house as I did before,” Murphy said.

Since the crime, the residents are more careful about locking the house before they go to bed, Murphy said.

From 2005 to 2013, Champaign experienced a downward trend in the number of reported home and auto burglaries, according to the CPD. In 2013, Champaign saw the lowest number of property crimes reported in 27 years.

However, two years later, this rate started to increase again and in 2016, this number spiked to the highest number reported since 1999.

Because of this spike in property crimes, the city allocated $300,000 from its budget to start the Property Crimes Unit through the CPD. The unit came into existence on Oct. 1, 2017 and employs a small staff of detectives.

David Griffet, detective sergeant for the CPD, is the supervising detective for the Property Crimes Unit.

In addition, the Property Crimes Unit consists of two full-time detectives – Detective Jody Cherry and Detective Robert DeLong. These detectives dedicate all of their time to investigating property crimes, Griffet said. They follow up on as many leads as they can to catch repeat offenders in the area.

Cherry said in an email the unit has made over 80 felony arrests since its inception in October.

“We have seen a decrease in the number of reported burglaries since the inception of the unit, but it’s too early to attribute that solely to the effectiveness of the unit,” Cherry said.

Griffet said before the CPD received funding for the Property Crimes Unit, it was difficult to allocate resources within the police department to investigate property crimes.

Griffet credits the 2016 hike in property crimes to the lack of resources. Before the Property Crimes Unit existed, the police department did not have enough manpower or time to dedicate to just property crimes. Griffet said the crimes started getting out of control.

The Property Crimes Unit is only temporary, Griffet said. The city could not allocate enough money to fund the unit for more than a year.

“(Cherry and DeLong) are doing things that would normally not get done because we didn’t have those resources,” Griffet said. “These guys are diligently following up every lead that they can and going through these cases.”

Griffet said many property crimes are committed by repeat offenders. Having a unit designated to investigate these crimes helps find the people who continually get away with it.

“By giving two people the responsibility to investigate the majority of these crimes, they’re able to see all the reports that pertain to these offenses within the city of Champaign and their location,” Griffet said. “They can tie them together sometimes.”

As of March 5, the Property Crimes Unit has recovered about $60,000 worth of stolen property, according to Cherry. He said this number would not have been as high if it weren’t for the unit.

Often, the Property Crimes Unit gets information from local pawn shops. Griffet said it’s likely that a perpetrator will sell stolen items to pawn shops in the area.

Leonard’s Pawn and Jewelry, 112 E. University Ave., helps the Property Crimes Unit by reporting every item it buys to a database. The store uses a service called Law Enforcement Automated Database Search Online, or LeadsOnline, after it buys items to resell in the store.

“Pawn shops are required by state law and city ordinance to report all property taken in on pawn or purchased,” Cherry said. “They must provide the police department with a list of that property within 24 hours, and they have to hold it for a minimum of 72 hours before they can resell it.”

After buying an item to resell in the store, an employee at Leonard’s uploads the report to LeadsOnline. From there, the Property Crimes Unit can link specific items that were reported stolen to items bought or pawned. Local businesses can access LeadsOnline for free; however, the CPD has an annual subscription that costs $8,627 per year. That money is taken from the $300,000 budget allocated to the unit.

Ron Bryant, owner of Leonard’s Pawn and Jewelry, said that every day after he closes up his shop, he submits a report to LeadsOnline. The Property Crimes Unit can then search stolen items and trace them back to whoever stole the items using the identification reported to the database. Bryant estimates that perpetrators sell stolen items to the store about eight to 12 times per year.

Bryant has been using LeadsOnline in his store for the past four months, after the police department approached him and recommended the service.

The only drawback, according to Bryant, is the police department recovers the stolen property and Bryant’s business loses money.

“Sometimes I’ve lost a couple thousand dollars and sometimes I’ve lost ten bucks,” Bryant said. “It hurts when you lose money. You lose sleep when you lose money.”

Cherry said this is usually solved by listing the pawn shop as a victim in the police report. That way, the shop will ultimately get reimbursed by the suspect if he is convicted.

Cherry said the majority of property crimes in his time investigating them have occurred because homes and cars are left unlocked. He estimates that about 75 percent of vehicle burglaries occur because the car was left unlocked, whereas unlocked homes account for about 25 percent of burglaries.

This is exactly what happened to Champaign resident Jeremy Hunt in February 2018.

Hunt said his son accidentally left the car keys inside Hunt’s car after retrieving his school bag the night before. When Hunt woke up early the next morning, his car was gone. Hunt said he was one of the first people outside in the morning after it snowed overnight. The perpetrators left footprints in fresh snow.

“I was able to follow the footprints of the folks and kind of trace their steps,” Hunt said. “They had been walking up to everybody’s front door and checking the front door and walking to everybody’s car and checking the cars up and down the entire street.”

Hunt said he could tell that two people were checking unlocked doors just by looking at the tracks. When the perpetrators got to his car, the footprints stopped.

Hunt filed a police report with the CPD that morning. He said the police followed up pretty quickly, but Hunt knew it might be a few days before he would see his car again, if he would see it at all.

Hunt said he didn’t want to wait for the police to get back to him, so he took matters into his own hands and reached out in Facebook groups to see if anyone had seen his car.

Someone a few blocks away noticed Hunt’s car parked in front of their house. The car was recovered, but not without some damage. The car’s radio was missing. Hunt said the damage cost him around $3,200, which was mostly covered by insurance.

Hunt said what really hurt, though, wasn’t the cost of the damage, but the fear of someone breaking in again.

“I’ve grown up here my whole life, and just to know that that would happen in my neighborhood, in a place where I grew up, it’s just disheartening,” Hunt said.

Hunt said his three children, ages six, eight and 10, were afraid for a while because they knew the perpetrators were checking for unlocked residences.

“It’s not fair to them especially,” Hunt said. “They don’t need to be worried about things like that.”

The perpetrators who stole Hunt’s car have still not been caught. Hunt said if he knows one thing for sure, it’s that he won’t ever forget to lock the door to his car or home again.

Griffet said most property crimes happen the same way Hunt’s car was stolen. The majority of perpetrators go door-to-door checking for property that is unlocked.

“A lot of people feel very violated and rightly so, but there are things that we can do to prevent some of that,” Griffet said. “You can keep your car locked. Don’t leave your belongings in plain view. Keep your private residence locked.”

Source: https://dailyillini.com/news/2018/04/09/property-crime-spike-prompts-for-designated-police-unit/

Police nab suspects in break-ins

By Corey Davis

April 8, 2018

Police have made more than a dozen arrests in connection to a series of break-ins to local homes and business since the beginning of the year, according to authorities.

Cpl. Brad Summerlin, public information officer for the Rocky Mount Police Department, said 13 suspects have been arrested in connection with numerous break-ins since January. Summerlin said the residential and commercial break-ins have been scattered throughout the city and not just in one specific area.

“It’s just been outstanding police work in getting this many individuals and being able to solve this many cases in such a short period of time,” Summerlin said. “Through the efforts of our criminal investigation division property crime detectives following up on all the evidence and the community, we’ve been able to solve a lot of these crimes.”

Summerlin said to help avoid potential break-ins, it’s important for people to lock their cars and house doors and windows and secure their valuables in their homes. Summerlin said people need to be vigilant about unfamiliar people riding around their neighborhoods or walking and hanging around late at night.
“Just anything in the area that looks suspicious, you should call us so we can investigate it further,” Summerlin said.

He also suggested that home and business owners who are the victims of break-ins go on Leadsonline, which is known as the nation’s largest online investigation system.

“You can register your information online. If (anything is) ever was stolen – with the serial number, that can help us track down your stuff faster and help in the aid and recovery of stolen merchandise,” Summerlin said.

Summerlin said people can call and schedule an appointment with the Rocky Mount police for free security surveys of their homes. Police also will do vacation house watches when people go out of town.

“As the weather become warmer, people have the tendency of not being in their homes as much,” Summerlin said. “We’re really making a conscious effort to do everything as far as educating the people in the public about certain things they can do.”

Source: http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/Police/2018/04/08/Police-arrest-suspects-in-series-of-break-ins.html

NW Gold Buyers pawn shop raided by police

By Caleb Hutton and Eric Stevick

March 31, 2018

MONROE – On a billiards table in the center of the pawn shop’s back room, police pulled up a white sheet to reveal enough probiotics, Claritin and pregnancy tests to stock a pharmacy aisle.
Cardboard boxes full of pills, from Allegra to Zyrtec, lined the walls of the store. Many still had QFC tags.

Monroe police believe the owner of NW Gold Buyers knew he’d been fencingthousands of dollars in shoplifted goods online over the past two years.

On Friday morning, a half-dozen officers raided the business in a strip mall on Highway 99, the climax of a two-year investigation that led officers from the owner’s defunct pawn shop in Monroe to his new storefront near Lynnwood.

Police dumped a mound of Flonase bottles onto the floor in a back room, sifting through them for signs that they were obviously stolen.
“Whoa!” an officer said. “The fair market value is $2,500 for that box.”

At first they expected to be in the store all day, making an exhaustive inventory. Once they saw the scope of the task, they decided to bring all of the merchandise back to the police station, to add it up later. They picked things off shelves, off the pool table and out of the moving boxes.

Online ads say NW Gold Buyers will pay “top dollar” for jewelry, coins, watches and silver. Search warrant papers say the owner was, in reality, often offering 12 to 20 percent of retail value for razors, medications and other items that could be concealed and stolen en mass from legitimate stores. Customers showed up to sell, not to buy. The merchandise was kept behind a locked door. The business had a core of about 20 people who would sell goods, officer Nathan Erdmann said.

“It was all a front,” Erdmann said. “At the other one, he actually had stuff for sale up front, but that wasn’t what this business was about.”

The case began because of a missing vacuum cleaner. Theft prevention workers at a hardware store reported the possible theft in January 2016, and relayed that a new pawn shop in Monroe might be taking stolen goods. Erdmann studied security video from the vacuum case. He recognized the suspect as an often-homeless heroin user. He checked an online database and noticed “odd transactions that were not typical of items that would be purchased by a pawn shop,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

Rogaine, Nicorette, teeth-whitening kits, electric toothbrushes as well as memory supplements, allergy medication, routers and electric razors were standard fare. Other local businesses reported a spike in thefts of health and beauty products.

Hints that a large-scale investigation was under way can be found in 2-year-old arrest reports. One Monroe man, then 29, admitted in 2016 to stealing electric razors to pawn so he could buy heroin. He’d made 59 transactions for more than $7,600 at One Stop Pawn Shop over three months. He told officers he typically received 30 percent the product’s worth, indicating his theft total during that time was about $22,000.

Police worked closely with local businesses, enlisted undercover officers from other agencies, interviewed theft suspects and used confidential informants during the course of the investigation. Thieves told police they were making a beeline to the One Stop Pawn Shop.

Police believe the goods were sold online, on Amazon or eBay.

One Stop Pawn was closing in the fall of 2016, when Erdmann paid the owner a visit. Near the end of the chat, Erdmann shared his suspicions.

“I told him that the stores in Monroe were cleaned out of many of the items that he was buying because there was so much theft,” he wrote, in the affidavit for the search warrant that was served Friday. “I told him that if he was not already closing down his business I would be coming after him and find some way to charge him, because no reasonable person could look at the things he was buying and not know (they were) stolen … I asked if that made sense, and he acknowledged that it did.”

Even after the business was shuttered, Erdmann kept a watchful eye. He learned that the suspect would meet at night in and around Lynnwood with people wanting to sell bags of stolen goods.
A confidential informant reported being given specific lists of items to steal, including Prevagen, Viviscal, Crest 3D Luxe and Alli, an over-the-counter weight loss pill.
In February 2017, the new business was registered in a triangular strip mall on Highway 99, between Everett and Lynnwood.

Video surveillance showed people waiting in parking lots late at night for the pawn shop owner to drive up in a Mercedes to conduct business.

One confidential informant told police the owner was getting nervous, inquiring about any possible connection to Monroe and saying he’d heard there might be a rat.

Police noticed an extremely high volume of traffic into the store by a small number of people. One man made 85 sales since October 2017. A woman had more than 90 transactions during the same period. In the online database, almost all of the transactions were listed as gift cards.

The suspect “has a common practice of entering transactions as the purchase of a gift card or multiple gift cards, when it is obvious that a large amount of unknown items is actually brought in,” Erdmann wrote. “Additionally, the frequency with which the same people routinely visit the store, taking bags and bags of items in on an almost daily basis, and sometimes twice in a day, would lead any reasonable person to question whether the items were legitimately obtained.”

Police believe the store had taken in about $428,000 in revenue.

Outside the store, officers handcuffed the owner, 22, and booked him into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of attempted trafficking in stolen property.

His father and sister arrived at the strip mall minutes later. They declined to talk at length with a reporter, and instead waited and watched as officers loaded power drills and robotic vacuums into the trunks of their police SUVs

Source: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/nw-gold-buyers-pawn-shop-raided-by-police/

Rob Gronkowski: Second Arrest Made in Home Burglary

March 27, 2018

Another guy allegedly connected to Gronk’s home burglary has turned himself in and is behind bars … TMZ Sports has learned.

As we previously reported … Gronkowski’s house was burglarized on February 5 while he was in Minnesota for the Super Bowl.

Law enforcement tells us 28-year-old Eric Tyrrell turned himself in to Foxborough Police Tuesday afternoon … after being sought for two counts of receiving stolen property. He’s being held on $10,000 cash bail.

Another man, Anthony Almeida, 31, was arrested last Friday for B&E Nighttime, two counts of Receiving Stolen Property, and Malicious Destruction of Property.

Police say they recovered an Apple Watch, a Rolex, and 2 rare coins. They are still looking for multiple firearms that were taken.

FYI — Gronk PERSONALLY made the 911 call … saying “This isn’t an emergency … this is just uh, Rob Gronkowski calling. And while I was gone, my whole house got robbed while on the Super Bowl trip and I just got back.”

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2018/03/27/rob-gronkowski-second-arrest-home-burglary/

Police: Most stolen items end up in pawn shops

By Katy Andersen

March 1, 2018

BECKLEY/PRINCETON, W. Va. (WVNS) – It’s become far too common, your stolen items ending up in pawn shops.

“We inescapably end up with stolen property from time to time,” said Ron Wood, the owner of Flat Top Arms Incorporated in Beckley.

Wood has been in business for 18 years and says he’s seen an influx in the amount of stolen items coming into his shop. “You don’t want to have items that are stolen. You are going to end up losing money plus your reputation,” Wood said.

Chad Butler, who is a Detective with the Princeton Police Department, said stolen items ending up in pawn shops is a huge problem in Princeton. “Seems like everything that gets stolen ends up in a pawn shop,” Butler said.

Butler said it’s thieves trying to get a quick buck for a quick fix. So every week, he compiles a list of stolen items and then checks the entire store of the 4 pawn shops in the Princeton area. “Tools is the number one- people leave a lot of tools in their vehicle and out buildings,” Butler said.

This is a problem law enforcement in Beckley said they are also battling. “A pretty large majority of stolen items at some point find there way into a pawn shop,” Detective David Allard, with the Beckley Police Department, said.

Allard is also combing through local pawn shops for stolen items, but instead of doing it by hand like Detective Butler, he does it online through a nationally used database called Leads Online.

By law, all pawn shops in Beckley must enter every item they receive into the database. That includes the seller’s information along with the item’s manufacturer, a description and serial number.Then when an item is reported stolen, law enforcement can enter that information and hopefully find it.

“The more information we have when a person reports a crime, the more likely hood we will solve the case,” Allard said.

But not every agency is able to search through Leads Online because of it’s price tag. The program costs each department thousands of dollars.

Whether it’s by hand or online, both Detective Allard and Butler said they’ve recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen items from area pawn shops.

As for Wood at Flat Top Arms, he said they’re constantly working with police to make sure stolen items don’t end up in his shop- or your home.

“There are a few times that we virtually know,” Wood said. “If you bring me a stolen item and we find out it’s stolen one time, you won’t ever bring me anything else.”

Police said the biggest problem they run into is when people report something stolen but they do not have the item’s serial number, which is crucial when trying to prove the item is yours. They recommend you go around your home and write down the serial number for big ticket items, especially guns and tools.

Also, they said do not wait to file a police report. As soon as you realize something is missing, call your local law enforcement.

Stolen shotgun suspect arrested 9 years after theft

By Camila Orti

February 23, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. – A stolen weapon case sat in a filing cabinet with no leads for nearly a decade until there was a breakthrough this week.

The La Vista Police Department located a gun and the suspect involved, nine years later, thanks to a national database.

Detective Harold Rappold received an interesting notification Wednesday.

“The hit was for a stolen shotgun, and the description, the serial number, everything matched,” Rappold said.

The computer program and national database, Leadsonline, flagged a sale at Guns Unlimited of a shotgun that had been stolen from Cabela’s.

“It shows the entire transaction,” Rappold said.

Rappold tracked down and cited the former Cabela’s employee, who admitted to the crime.

“First words out of his mouth were that he was young and dumb and was going to take responsibility for his actions,” Rappold said.

La Vista police, along with Omaha and other metro agencies have been using this online tool for nearly two years.

“Just in the short time we’ve had it, we’ve had several cases we’ve been able to solve using the Leadsonline program,” Rappold said.

Pawn shops take down the seller’s information, a photo, along with other information and enter it into the database.

“We take a picture of your ID, take a picture of yourself and take a picture of the product,” John Dineen with Sol’s Jewelry & Loan said.

Dineen said they even get your fingerprints to help law enforcement track down the individual or individuals involved.

“We don’t want those items coming into to us but if they do we want to get them back to their rightful owners right away,” Dineen said.

A city ordinance requires pawn shops to participate in the program.

Sol’s and other shops are hopeful the ordinance will be expanded so all secondary buyers will have to comply.

Pennsylvania AG rounds up 32 in alleged pawn shop theft ring based in Bucks County

By James O’Malley

March 1, 2018

Staff at two Bucks County pawn shops and more than two dozen “professional” thieves face conspiracy charges in alleged large-scale theft ring.

One owner of two Bucks County pawn shops, four of his employees and 27 “professional retail thieves” have been charged as part of an alleged large-scale theft ring the attorney general says preyed on people with addictions to turn a profit.

The state Office of Attorney General on Thursday alleged 35-year-old Michael Stein’s pawn shops Quick Cash Trading Post, in Middletown, and Morrisville Loan & Pawn Shop, in Falls, purchased for resale some $689,000 in merchandise stolen from chain retail stores.

Stein and his employees Victor Kline Jr., Lyle Lazar Boden, Joshua Fedalen and Brian Ernest Jancia dealt directly with the 27 accused of the thefts between January 2014 and October 2017, says a grand jury presentment, paying 30 percent or 40 percent of the items’ retail value and then selling the items for a profit online.

Known within the conspiracy as “boosters,” each of the theft suspects stole from stores on an almost-daily basis to support addictions to heroin and opioids, according to the grand jury.

The presentment says the broader investigation continues probing a larger ring of five stores “operating nominally as pawn shops” in Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

“We are not done,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Thursday morning at the Falls municipal building, adding the investigation is ongoing and remains “very active.” He declined to comment when asked if more arrests were imminent.

Shapiro said Stein’s operation preyed on the drug addictions of the boosters, who he described as “professional retail thieves.” The 27 suspects have been charged with counts of retail theft and conspiracy.

“It doesn’t excuse their criminal behavior, but we’re working very hard to get them into treatment,” Shapiro said.

Stein, of Middletown, was arraigned before District Judge Jan Vislosky on counts of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. He was released on 10 percent of $50,000 bail.

His attorney Ryan Becker urged reporters after the arraignment to “look at the charges.”

“He’s not accused of stealing anything,” he said. “He’s only accused of not knowing the people he was dealing with had stolen these things.”

Kline, 46, of Philadelphia; Boden, 29, of Philadelphia; Fedalen, 26, of Sharon Hill, Delaware County, and Jancia, 28, of Holmes, Delaware County, all were arraigned Thursday on counts of corrupt organizations, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Each was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Operating for years under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – if the seller didn’t say an item was stolen, the store purchased items without question — Klein and his employees routinely purchased various new, still-boxed items, including kitchen appliances, computer equipment and vacuum cleaners, prosecutors say.

In addition to purchasing items from people who previously had admitted committing retail thefts, the employees in many cases suggested the alleged thieves return the stolen item to the store for a gift card, which the pawn shops then purchased for 50 percent of face value, the grand jury presentment says.

The two pawn shops over time allegedly purchased nearly 5,000 items from “boosters,” paying them some $290,000 for the stolen items, according to prosecutors. The stores profited from resale to the tune of more than $470,000.

Investigators began looking into the alleged theft ring in April 2015 after loss prevention agents, noticing an increase in thefts and tracking stolen products to pawn shops including Stein’s, approached police in Falls, the presentment says.

Falls police used an informant to sell purportedly stolen goods and reviewed pawned items in the online database “LeadsOnline,” the grand jury says. Both Falls and Bristol Township require pawn shops to use the private database to track items. As the investigation expanded, police reached out to county detectives and later to the Office of Attorney General.

Reached Thursday, District Attorney Matthew Weintraub applauded the charges as the result of a collaborative effort.

“We’re very happy with the arrests and to be able to shut down this corrupt organization,” he said, noting that county detectives remain involved with the investigation. “This is certainly something that’s on our radar at present and in the future.”

Source: http://www.theintell.com/news/20180301/pennsylvania-ag-rounds-up-32-in-alleged-pawn-shop-theft-ring-based-in-bucks-county

Canon City Police encouraging residents to register valuables in database

By Jessica Barreto

March 7, 2018

If your phone or computer is stolen and you can’t provide a serial number on record, police may not be able to find them.

That’s why Canon City police are helping community members register valuables for free.

They’re partnering with an online company to store data about your property.

It’s a new way to keep track of your valuables — a safeguard in the event that something happens to them.

“It allows us to kind of track it down and track down those properties to help solve a crime,” said Detective Athena Garcia with Canon Police Department.

Canon City’s Police Department now subscribes to the service LeadsOnline which gives detectives critical information on missing and stolen items right at their fingertips.

Even though police have pay to use it, residents can register for free.

On the site reportit.leadsonline.com, you can catalog your valuables in case they turn up somewhere else, like a pawn shop.

“It kind of pinpoints where these items are pawned, who pawned them so we have a suspect in mind,” said Detective Garcia.

Every pawn shop in the state of Colorado is required to report its transactions and LeadsOnline simply uses that data to cross-check serial numbers with missing items.

If there’s a hit anywhere the country, police get an alert.

“By putting in the serial numbers, by having all that data available, specific identifiers, what models, serial numbers, everything helps us find those items,” added Detective Garcia.

Despite property crimes like burglaries dropping eight percent from 2016 to 2017, they still make up more than 75 percent of all crimes in Canon City compared to violent crimes.

But police say if you register your items, you can help solve your own case if they get stolen.

“The more people in the community that catalog their items, and write down the serial numbers, the easier it’s gonna be for us to be able to follow up on those cases,” said Sgt. Timothy Bell with Canon Police Department.

Source: http://www.koaa.com/story/37673830/canon-city-police-encouraging-residents-to-register-valuables-in-database

Paducah man arrested for allegedly pawning stolen firearms

By Krystle Callais

February 16, 2018

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — A Paducah man was arrested for allegedly selling stolen firearms.

On November 11, 2017, two handguns were reported stolen to the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department. The handguns were stolen from an unlocked car on Fairview Drive in Paducah.

The serial numbers of the guns were put into the national crime computer system as stolen.

On February 12, 2018, one of the handguns was sold at a local pawn shop.

Deputies say 21-year-old Rasheed Rashod Davonte Jones sold the stolen handgun.

The second handgun was found to have been sold at another local pawn shop.

Jones was arrested and charged with two counts of receiving stolen property-firearms.

Source: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/02/16/paducah-man-arrested-allegedly-pawning-stolen-firearms/

Helena man charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft

By Thomas Plank

January 22, 2018

A 21-year-old Helena man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of tools.

Tyler Thomas Ross Nelson is being charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and possession of burglary tools.

Nelson allegedly stole “Snap-On” hand tools, an air compressor and other tools from a garage from Jan. 9-16. Several of the tools were later discovered at a pawn shop.

Nelson was arrested after a search of his vehicle found tools fitting the description of those stolen from the garage, a pry bar, crowbars and a set of bolt cutters that are similar to those used in burglaries, according to court documents.

Source: http://helenair.com/news/crime/helena-man-charged-with-multiple-counts-of-burglary-theft/article_4f46d8bc-577a-5eaa-9d4d-5fad69562844.html

Suspect ID’d in jewelry theft

By Andy Morphew

February 16, 2018

A man out of Oklahoma City has been identified by Duncan Police as a suspect in last month’s robbery at Payne’s Jewelry.

John Dale Bradshaw is wanted in connection with the crime, which was reported Jan. 18, according to an affidavit filed in Stephens County Court.

The owner said five rings were missing. He reviewed security camera footage and observed a white male reaching over the counter and taking the display, which held five rings.

The Duncan Police Department shared the information with the Regional Organized Crime Information Center and, within the hour, received a call from a Nichols Hills officer.

The officer advised Duncan police that he was reasonably sure the male in the photo was John Bradshaw and was a target of an investigation of a similar crime a number of years ago.

With the reports from the Nichols Hill Police Department, Duncan police were able to search social media to find Bradshaw and see images resembling those from the alleged robbery.

After looking up Bradshaw, Duncan police searched a database of pawn shops and found a record of a John Bradshaw who pawned a 14-karat diamond ring in Oklahoma City the day after the robbery. The store confirmed that Bradshaw pawned the ring.

Taking a photo of the ring from the pawn shop, the owner of Payne’s Jewelry successfully identified the ring and gave a positive ID of Bradshaw after seeing a photo shown by police.

Another pawnshop owner in Texas called Duncan police Feb. 5 and said they had seen Bradshaw’s image and identified him as the man who had stolen about $4,000 to $5,000 in jewelry from the store in late January.

A felony warrant for Bradshaw has been issued for $25,000. He has been charged with grand larceny after former two or more felony convictions.

Source: http://www.duncanbanner.com/news/suspect-id-d-in-jewelry-theft/article_ac6df824-12cc-11e8-85a7-175a6faa638e.html

Redmond repeat burglary, theft suspect arrested again

January 14, 2018

A Redmond man who recently spent five years in prison on burglary and theft convictions was arrested Saturday after a report of thefts from several cars in northwest Redmond, police said. A raid of his home turned up guns, jewelry, coins and other items stolen in recent Bend and Redmond home and car burglaries, officers said.
Redmond police on Saturday received the report of thefts from several vehicles that had just occurred in the area of Northwest 10th Street and Birch Avenue, Sgt. Eric Beckwith said in a news release Sunday.

Residents said the suspect was seen leaving the area in a red Ford Explorer.

A Redmond officer found the Explorer and contacted Dennis Wayne Madden, 49, who Beckwith said had a window punch, a ski mask, gloves and other burglary tools.
Officers also found a purse belonging to a Redmond woman who reported it stolen the previous night, Beckwith said.

Police said Madden also matched the description of the suspect believed to be involved in several other thefts from vehicles where a window was broken to gain access to the contents.
After the arrest, Redmond police patrol officers and part-time Street Crimes Team members sought and received a warrant to search Madden’s home in the 2500 block of Southwest Cascade Mountain Lane, Beckwith said.

In the home, Beckwith said officers found items belonging to several victims of home burglaries and car break-ins in Bend and Redmond. The recovered items included three stolen firearms, jewelry, collector coins and a large number of small tools. Officers also found a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and other drug-related contraband, he said.

“It’s going to be an exhaustive process trying to match up all of the property with all of the victims that spans throughout Central Oregon, we believe including Bend and other areas,” Redmond police Sgt. Ryan Fraker told NewsChannel 21. “So that’s the process that we’re in right now.”

Madden was booked into the Deschutes County Jail in Bend Saturday afternoon on numerous theft charges as well as unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, ID theft, computer crime, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. He was held without bail on a parole violation.

“Madden has an extensive criminal history of burglary and theft, among other crimes,” Beckwith wrote in a news release. “He has taken advantage of many people in the Central Oregon area over the past decade. He recently served a five-year prison sentence for burglary and theft, related to a 2010 Redmond police investigation.”

At the time of the new crimes, he was on community supervision after his release from prison. Deschutes County Parole & Probation is assisting Redmond police with the investigation, Beckwith said.

“The Redmond Police Department has in our possession several known and suspected stolen items and will work hard to link the property seized during the search warrant to victims in the community,” the sergeant said.

Beckwith said police “would like to credit the detailed observations of the suspect and vehicle by theft victims for the arrest of Madden.” Also, detailed descriptions of stolen items and serial numbers in particular have led to linking Madden to other known thefts.

The sergeant reminded everyone to remove valuables from their vehicles, and urged people to itemize their property and record serial numbers and detailed descriptions.

To that end, Redmond police have partnered with LeadsOnline to assist community members with this essential task. Go to https://reportit.leadsonline.com/ to create an online account where a person can document property and serial numbers.

This information is only accessible by the account creator, not law enforcement, Beckwith said. In the event of a theft or other loss, data can be easily retrieved and provided to police for a report.

Source: http://www.ktvz.com/news/redmond-repeat-burglar-thief-arrested-again/685695083

Fort Wayne Police detective nets $1 million in recovered stolen property, from jewelry to Beanie Babies

January 23, 2018

When Fort Wayne Police detective Joseph Lyon saw four boxes of Beanie Babies in a pawn shop he knew they had to be hot.

“I looked at the manager and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’”

An hour later he got a call. Indeed, a woman had reported the day before that she’d had four boxes of Beanie Babies stolen.

“Guess what. You’re getting back your Beanie Babies,” he said.

The fabric toys that spawned a collecting frenzy a few years ago are part of the $1 million in stolen property that Lyon has recovered over the years, a rare accomplishment for a one-man show, he said.

How did he reach that Monday? “It’s one Xbox at a time. I just recovered one today.” Laptops are another item often snatched by thieves.

“Every 50 seconds in the U.S. a laptop is stolen,” said Lyon, who has cleared 848 stolen property cases.

Lyon has been responsible for finding stolen property in pawn shops and scrap yards since June 2011. He joined the Fort Wayne Police Department 22 years ago.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I saw 8 years old,” he said of becoming a police officer. “I’ve been living my dream every day.”

As one of the good guys, he uses a computer program called LeadsOnline. All Fort Wayne pawn shops and scrap yards, along with 21,000 businesses nationwide, record their transactions, including item serial numbers. When a victim reports a crime, information goes into the National Crime Information Center, which LeadsOnline looks at twice a day to find any hits on stolen merchandise sold to businesses.

Recording serial numbers and/or getting appraisals and photos of jewelry and reporting thefts as soon as possible are key to Lyon getting victims back their property.

“You think it’s a unique item,” Lyon said, “but there’s thousands sold. … But if I go in soon to a store with a photo, that’s probably your item.”

One business’ accountant noticed at tax time that it had a lot of sales but no corresponding money coming in. The business discovered an employee in charge of its inventory had been stealing jewelry over eight months, listing items as sold but taking them to pawn shops to sell, Lyon said. He was able to recover $129,000 worth of the jewelry including diamond rings and a necklace his wife liked, “But I didn’t have $19,000 lying around to buy it for her.”

He’s “recovered a musical instrument so rare that even the Philharmonic doesn’t own one,” he said.

He’s also found a 1952 amplifier valued at $12,000 that was stolen from a music store.

Lyon has seen three waves of narcotics in Fort Wayne during his time on the force, first crack, then meth and now heroin/opioids. This is the worst, he said. Police chief Steve Reed said Monday during a news conference on 2017 crime reports that much of the thefts going on here and nationwide are fueled by addicts stealing to buy drug.

“They’re so interested in getting that fix,” Lyon said, “they give the items to their dealer … Now when it reaches a shop, it’s passed through a couple of hands.”

The local shops are very cooperative with police.

“They don’t want to take in stolen items,” Lyon said. “… They’re one of the most regulated industries.”

One recently called him to say “We just took in something off the street because we knew it was hot. Come get it.”

Lyon guesses that only 0.1 percent of pawn shop/scrapyard transactions involved stolen items, and tracing the criminals is easier now that the shops require photo identification with a person’s name and date of birth and thumbprints. However, criminals making the transactions don’t always think those things through, which benefits Lyon’s work.

Some criminals sell stolen merchandise directly, and a number of social media apps end with buyers finding that the cell phones they’ve bought have been reported stolen.

If Lyon finds the stolen items before a victim files a claim, he’ll take a photo and process it into the police department’s property room, after which the victim is called to pick up the items. The judicial system allows a photo of the item to be used in court cases, so the victims don’t have to wait months or years for the return of the property.

If victims have filed an insurance claim, Lyon calls the company. If it doesn’t want it he’ll ask if they don’t want it if he can return it to the victim, and the answer is often yes. If it says no, the item goes back to the pawn shop.

Lyon recommends:

– Get jewelry appraised, during which photos will be taken.

– Take photos or make a list of serial numbers.

– Put photos or the list of serial numbers of your items on a thumb drive, not your laptop, which would likely be among items stolen. Store the thumb drive in a safe place that won’t be lost in a fire or tornado.

– Record your items and photos on LeadsOnline’s ReportIt section, which has free storage for photos, serial numbers and receipt scans. Go to https://reportit.leadsonline.com.

– Do a walk-through of your home after having visitors such as a cleaning lady or that cousin you haven’t seen in a while who just shows up. Otherwise, it might be months before you notice something is missing. By then, your stolen item may have passed through several hands and can’t be traced.

Source: http://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local-news/2018/01/23/fort-wayne-police-detective-nets-1-million-in-recovered-stolen-property-from-jewelry-to-beanie-babies/

NCSO uses online technology to recover stolen property

By Michael Johnson

January 19, 2018

HOLBROOK — The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) is using the internet to help burglary victims recover their stolen property.

NCSO is using a service called LeadsOnline, an online investigation system used by law enforcement departments locally, statewide and nationally. It’s a property tracking system that documents and reports items that are pawned and sold or transferred at multiple pawn shops throughout Navajo County, the State of Arizona and the Nation.

NCSO officials said they began using LeadsOnline in February 2010. The program was purchased and shared with all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County.

“This is an outstanding program. Utilized correctly, it is an extremely valuable tool for all law enforcement agencies in Navajo County,” said Sheriff K.C. Clark.

During the past several months, Clark says deputies have recovered “thousands of dollars worth of stolen property” by using the LeadsOnline technology.

On Jan. 8, for example, NCSO officials say they recovered a Rolex watch with an appraisal value of $34,000. The watch was photographed, documented and returned to its owner, who NCSO did not identify.
Deputies investigating a burglary at a business west of Snowflake used LeadsOnline to ID a suspect and recover several stolen pieces of property. Chief Deputy R.D. Moffitt said that suspect, who has not yet been publicly named because there are additional arrests pending, allegedly admitted to his involvement.

The system also helped deputies find additional stolen property, including $71,000 worth of computer and software equipment that the Snowflake business uses to run its machinery.

Not only is it useful in getting stolen property back to its rightful owner, but LeadsOnline, he said, is the link between investigators and missing items or individuals who may turn out to be instrumental in solving a homicide.

“It is truly a proud moment for that deputy, officer or detective when he or she can contact the victims of a theft or burglary and advise them that their stolen property has been recovered and the suspect identified, and his or her arrest is pending,” Clark said.

Source: http://www.wmicentral.com/news/latest_news/ncso-uses-online-technology-to-recover-stolen-property/article_21421638-c496-5b45-b767-c249ad43394c.html

LeadsOnline aids in tracking suspect’s movements across state lines

“I first started using LeadsOnline in September, and we had a report on a brand new Cub Cadet stolen September 12th. I remember coming in on the 13th and seeing this report, so I ran the serial number and had a match within a second. That doesn’t sound that cool or exciting to some with years of experience, but to me, that was the best day of my life. I had only been doing investigations for a few months, and had just been released on my own, so it was my first solved crime thanks to you all. This was only the beginning, because my suspect appeared to be trying to break a record with how many trailers, dirt bikes, and lawn mowers he could steal and sell in the shortest amount of time. Needless to say, he was arrested shortly after and went to prison for a few short months, but I kept up with him and it wasn’t two weeks after he was released he was back at it harder than ever. It took a couple months for him to make his way back into Polk County, NC, where he went on another rampage and he was hitting us every other day. We chased him for months, along with other agencies from North Carolina, South Carolina, and even the US Marshals Service got involved once he pretty much kidnapped our CI. So yes, this was the most fun I’ve ever had on a case, and I got to meet and make great friends and contacts through those months. We were able to close out around 20 cases in the end. I’d like to say thank you and without you all at LeadsOnline, we would not have been able to keep up with and track his whereabouts long enough to get the other agencies involved and get him back in jail where he belongs. Also, I’d like to thank Rutherford county, NC, Cherokee County, SC, Greenville County, SC, and mainly Spartanburg city and county guys for the endless hours, car chases, search warrants, and helping get the Marshal’s Service brought in. Thanks again for everyone’s help, and I hope everyone has had the experience that I’ve had with LeadsOnline.”

Det. / Sgt. Jay Turney
Polk County NC Sheriff
North Carolina

Victim’s stolen tools returned after LeadsOnline revealed they were sold to two local business

“A burglary occurred where several tools were stolen from a shed. The victim could only speculate that one of her neighbors was the suspect, due to past interactions and side work. I ran the suspect’s name through LeadsOnline and sure enough, he had sold those specific tools at two area businesses. Upon further investigation, another neighbor actually saw the suspect back into the victim’s driveway the day of the burglary. Of course, with all of them being neighbors, our witness didn’t think much of it.
Because of the cooperation between the businesses and LeadsOnline, we were able to obtain warrants on our suspect and return the stolen items to our victim.”

Sgt. Kevin Hoffman
York City SC PD
South Carolina

Investigation into stolen Kindle Fire leads to recovered jewelry as well

“I was following our agency’s Person of Interest list. A known drug addict had recently sold a Kindle Fire at our local Cash Land. With further investigation into this suspect, I was able to determine that the Kindle Fire was indeed stolen. It also led to locating jewelry that had been stolen and sold by this same suspect. With the investigative tool of LeadsOnline, I was able to recover these items, return them to the victim, and bring charges against the suspect.”

Det. Nathan Huebner
Van Wert County OH Sheriff

Burglaries ended by Detectives use LeadsOnline to find their suspect

“A few months back, we had a rash of residential burglaries. There was one suspect tied to several different homes. We caught the guy by running the stolen items’ serial numbers in LeadsOnline. Just about every item he stole, he would sell it at nearby businesses. LeadsOnline is a great tool. My department uses it very, very frequently. I would totally recommend any Law Enforcement agency to get linked up with LeadsOnline.”

Det. Billy Mccauley
St. Landry Parish LA Sheriff

LeadsOnline helps recover stolen iPads several states away

“With the help of LeadsOnline, I located two more stolen iPads which were sold out of state. The suspects lives in Florida and traveled to Mississippi on two separate occasions to pawn the stolen IPads. 13 iPads were initially stolen and, with the help of LeadsOnline, 3 have been located so far.”

Det. Gilbert Galloway
Pensacola FL PD

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