Reynoldsburg Police using new tool to recover stolen property
(by Alexa Libert, staff writer - April 21, 2010)
The Reynoldsburg Police Department soon may have more success in recovering stolen property.
Officials are considering a change to the code, which would require pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to use an online system to upload information on purchased merchandise.
In February, the Reynoldsburg Police Department purchased a membership to LeadsOnline, a nationwide online system that allows pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to photograph and electronically upload information on items purchased.
Since then, three burglary cases have already been solved and closed, said Det. Michael Binder during Monday's Reynoldsburg Council safety committee meeting.
"That may not seem like a lot," said Binder, "but trust me, two months, three burglary cases being solved, is more than any other tool for burglaries we've ever seen."
The cost to subscribe to the service was $6,100 for three years.
There is no cost to the pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers. In addition, all secondhand shops would receive a free camera system and assistance setting it up.
Currently, that information is required to be documented through paper records and turned in daily to the chief of police. However, very few do, explained Binder.
The current system is time-consuming and often times the paper records are illegible, Binder said.
Another existing requirement mandates that store employees in such establishments are fingerprinted, photographed and pay a fee of $10.
"This requirement is simply outdated," Binder said.
Of the 14 pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in Reynoldsburg, two subscribe to LeadsOnline and one turns in paper reports, he said.
"A change in the current law is necessary to maximize the effect LeadsOnline has in solving crimes by getting all pawn and secondhand shops to report," Binder said.
Binder added that the use of electronic records would cut the time it takes to search records from hours to less than 30 seconds.
LeadsOnline also conducts Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) checks.
"SDN checks compare names of people doing business with these shops to a federal list of known terrorists and drug-traffickers and these are required by federal law," Binder said.
He added that some of the shops were not aware of what SDN checks were and therefore not following the federal requirement.
"Failure to conduct the check can result in large fines and criminal prosecution from the federal government," he said.
In addition, LeadsOnline allows for searches by serial number, model number or description.
"It also allows for searches of suspect's names, ID numbers, addresses and phone numbers," Binder said.
It can also search items being sold on eBay, he added.
The second reading of the ordinance will be held April 26.
* Reynoldsburg Safety and Service Director Pam Boratyn requested permission to purchase a new salt truck.
The truck would cost $116,315 with $91,315 coming from the unappropriated street funds and $25,000 from unappropriated state highway funds.
Boratyn said that attempts were made to attain grants, however, those attempts were unsuccessful.
The new truck would replace a 17-year-old truck that needs approximately $24,000 to $35,000 of repairs, Boratyn said.
The ordinance was sent to council as an emergency so that the truck could be purchased in time to make the needed alterations and also before the forecasted price increase.
* Reynoldsburg Director of Engineering James Miller requested $222,914 from the CIP fund for the Summit Road reconstruction project.