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.