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"LeadsOnline" software helps law enforcement battle theft

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

Posted Friday, January 31, 2014 -- 10:20 p.m.

Sometimes locking your door just isn't enough to keep your apartment or house safe.

Having things stolen from you is never fun, and trying to get them back isn't easy either.

Thanks to a software called "LeadsOnline", used by the Dane County Sheriff's Office and many other law enforcement agencies, there may be a new light at the end of the tunnel.

Detective Brian Lukens has had a lot of experience with LeadsOnline. "It has been a very successful program," he said.

It has really made things easier for detectives in many ways. "Prior to leads online, I'd have to drive to every single second hand store," Lukens said.

LeadsOnline is a software that produces an online database of all items that have been reported as stolen.

In Madison, a local ordinance requires pawn shops and other second hand stores to register with LeadsOnline --- so when thieves attempt to sell a stolen item, they'll be caught easily.

Mike Walnoha is a crime analyst for the Dane County Sheriff's Office, and has worked on many theft cases together with Detective Lukens.

"It's been particularly useful for us in order to get stolen property back to citizens," Walnoha said.

Walnoha also suggested that all citizens keep a record of their product's serial and model numbers.

Dave Post, who is the "Head Coach" at the Pawn America on Springs Drive, thinks that "leads online is an outstanding program for us and the community," as well as "for local police departments."

"All they have to do is call us with the description and serial numbers," Post said in reference to the Police Department or Sheriff's Office. If the item turns up, law enforcement can retrieve it and return it to it's owner.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office spent around $6,000 for LeadsOnline, according to Detective Lukens.


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