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Program Helps Police and Pawn Shops

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - A computer program is helping western
Kentucky police track down stolen property that's been sold to pawn
shops.
Paducah's five pawn shops submit records of transactions,
including serial numbers of items bought or pawned, into a system
at leadsonline.com. Police can compare the items to a national
database of stolen merchandise.
Police can use the program to determine if stolen merchandise is
being offered for sale at pawn shops in Kentucky or any neighboring
state if the owner has recorded product serial numbers.
"This is very handy since a lot of (thieves) know we're going
to check pawn shops here," Connie Waldridge, clerical specialist
in the police department's criminal investigations division, told
The Paducah Sun.
Police can also find out what local residents have pawned
recently, since people must submit their driver's license numbers
to sell to the shops. The program includes digital pictures,
addresses, birth dates and driver's license numbers of those
pawning items.
The program has helped solve four cases since it was implemented
last month, Waldridge said.


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