Philippi Police say anti-theft tracking system a success

By Joe Buchanan

January 6, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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