Tyrone business helps launch new tool for cops

Tyrone detectives have a new tool for use in tracking and locating stolen property courtesy of a $2,002 donation from a local business, J.P. Baker Construction.

Police Chief Brandon Perkins said the new online database, Leads Online, connects police to pawnshops, scraps yards, and second hand stores across the country and allows detectives to search for stolen items even in cases where they do not have a serial number. And it helps police track eBay transactions.

Perkins said Leads Online provides free software to businesses that they can use to enter items that they buy from the general public. Agencies with a subscription to this software can then log in and search for items by description or serial number and any “hits” are returned instantly.

“The software also allows detectives to search persons of interest or for residents pawning items outside of their jurisdiction, which is helpful when you are dealing with local offenders with known histories of theft, burglary or other crimes,” Perkins said. “Perhaps the best feature is that the system allows police to save searches and the software will continuously search for the items and send an email to the detective if there is a ‘hit.’”

Perkins said that while there are still a few pawnshops that are not yet using this system, many of those in the area are on it and access to this software will help to cut down on the time it takes for detectives to drive to these shops and manually search through piles of pawn tickets.

The Tyrone Police Department has taken advantage of two trials of the software and, while no current cases have been solved as a result, detectives did locate items from cases that had already been cleared through manual searches and other methods, said Perkins.

These “hits” prove the value of this software in its potential to bring a much quicker closure to cases and help detectives save time and fuel.

The donation by J.P. Baker will pay for the first annual subscription to the Leads Online database.

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