By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis, Mo. – The St. Louis Police Department is now using a computer database to track stolen property.
The city is joining 44 other area law enforcement agencies in using LEADS Online, an Internet tool that lets police search pawn shop records for missing items.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office has been using the system for two years. Maj. Jerry Lee says it's been a time saver for detectives. "Can you imagine a detective if he had to go to a thousand pawn shops and ask for their records, and then go through all their records," Lee asked. "It would be a task that any local, even state or national law enforcement agency couldn't do."
Participating pawn shops add daily inventory to the database over the Internet, though state law only requires newly-opened shops to use it.