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LeadsOnline Success Stories: Campus Crime

Cases solved on campus moments after joining LeadsOnline

"I just registered on this site and already solved one of my cases. This is a great tool for all police agencies. I would recommend this for any case dealing with serial numbers. 100 thumbs up!"

Sgt. Victor Griffin
University of Alabama - Birmingham

University employee arrested for embezzlement of school property

"While searching local stores for a stolen iPad in July 2012, I found that a subject had pawned eight iPads within a few weeks. The subject was found to be an employee of the University and had access to the iPads. The serial numbers were checked through the University's records and found to belong to the University. The property was recovered, an arrest was made, and the subject pled guilty to embezzlement."

Officer Shana Thompson
Eastern Michigan University Police Department

University police find stolen property taken out of state

"Northwestern University police were able to locate 6 laptop computers were stolen by a former employee using LeadsOnline. The computers were stolen here in Illinois and subsequently located in three separate pawn shops in northwest Indiana. The location of these laptops ties in a major part of the investigation to where we could upgrade the charges to a higher class of felony."

Sgt. Robert Wiley
Northwestern University Police Department

University police department finds stolen musical instruments and electronics

"I got a one month free trial of LeadsOnline and ran all the serial numbers of stolen items over the past year. I found that a stolen digital camera was pawned. After the arrest of the person who pawned the camera, I traced it back to a custodian at the University who had been working in the area of the theft. I then started checking people that I had arrested in the past, including students, staff and people from off campus. As a result I found that a music student had pawned three tubas at different pawn shops over a six month period. When I checked with the Music Department, they discovered they were missing the three tubas. The tubas were valued at $3000.00 each. The tubas were recovered and the student confessed. As a result of the recovery of the camera and $9000 of University property, I was able to get LeadsOnline in our budget.

Thank you for the free one month trial!"

Det. Tony Griemel
University of Missouri at St. Louis Police Department

Rice University Police recover $30,000 violin stolen from campus

"Jiyeon Min's $30,000 Raffaello Bozzi violin, along with a pair of $5,000 bows, went missing before her final scheduled performance as a student at the Shepherd School of Music Presidential Concert at Stude Hall. "I left it for a short while in a practice room," recalled Min, who earned her master's degree in music last month. "When I came back, it wasn't in the room. I thought my friends were playing some really evil prank. I couldn't accept the reality of it -- I thought somebody was joking." It was no joke, however. A thief entered Alice Pratt Brown Hall and checked the rooms, taking care to close the blinds as he rifled through students' belongings. "We were sitting on a couch in the practice building when a fellow student walked over and told us his laptop was stolen from his practice room, near ours," Min said. "There were other instruments in the room, but only mine was taken."It was really heartbreaking," she said. Min immediately reported the missing violin to Rice police Officer Otis Carey. Sgt. Gary Spears, one of two department detectives, picked up the case and knew where to look first. "The first thing we did was a pawnshop search," Spears said. "We're members of a computer database program called LeadsOnline, a way to search pawnshop transactions. Pawnshops are required by law to enter their transactions." Rice subscribes to the service, which is free for pawnshops, and the investment has occasionally paid off in the recovery of stolen bicycles and laptop computers, Spears said. "I gave it a whirl and searched for all violins with that brand name pawned in Texas and Louisiana over the weekend," he said. "There was only one, and it was at a pawnshop just down the street on Bissonnet. That was a pretty good clue." The pawnshop got the valuable instrument at a bargain-basement price. "They thought it was worth about $5,000 and they paid him $200 for it. He told them it had belonged to his uncle, who passed away. It was a family heirloom and it was time to get rid of it. It was a decent story." The suspect is known to police for previous thefts, Spears said, and a felony warrant was issued for his arrest. Spears recovered the violin May 16, and Min, who had gone home to Atlanta, hopped a plane back to Houston that day. She was delighted enough to treat RUPD to coffee and cake as a thank you. "It was nice to work with somebody who gets excited at the work we do, because we get excited when we have a good case," Spears said. "This, for me, is the highest-priced item I've recovered from a pawnshop. You're getting into the price of cars with a $30,000 violin. It was a big case for us." "They did the best job," said Min, who's happy to have her instrument back in time for a busy season of summer festivals. "I really appreciated it."

Sgt. Gary Spears
Rice University Police Department

University police emerge from stone ages; solve two year old internal theft case on second day with LeadsOnline

"On the second day on LeadsOnline, we discovered an internal theft problem that had been ongoing for over two years. I have been a police officer, industrial security specialist, licensed private investigator for nearly twenty years. I have solved numerous burglaries, thefts, and scams by utilizing information I could gain from pawn shops and second hand stores. I had to do it during the stone-age when you had to go around to the different agencies and go through stacks and stacks of IBM computer paper printouts searching line by line. This took hours, if not days at times. LeadsOnline is one of the finest tools for law-enforcement that I have had the privilege to use lately. Again, I want to thank you for introducing it to our small university police department."

Sgt. Steve Fomby
Centenary College Police Department

Small law enforcement agency budget eased by using LeadsOnline

"I work for The University of Texas System Police at one of the smaller components. As such we have very limited resources. Beginning in the fall semester we started experiencing a string of thefts, with no suspects or leads. I heard about your service from another agency. The idea seemed better than thumbing through pawn tickets. I signed up for your 30-day free trial. We recently had four musical instruments stolen. I put in the serial number for the first instrument; no success. I put in the serial number for the second instrument; I found a match (I checked three times because I couldn't believe it). Then I found another match. I even found, through the keyword search, the first instrument. (The Music Department had given me an incomplete serial number.) In total, I found 3 out of the 4 instruments for a recovery of $3,000. This one recovery will pay for 3 years service with money left over. Once I had the suspect's name, I found he had pawned 24 instruments in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and all over Texas. Through regular channels I found two outstanding felony warrants from Nebraska and South Carolina. LeadsOnline will surely help recover tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hopefully it will also enhance the penalties for this professional thief. Let me say thanks. If not for the free trial, I would be chasing my tail forever."

Officer Mark Pierce
University of Texas System Police

$30,000 in stolen musical instruments recovered via LeadsOnline

"During our 30 day trial, over $30,000 (yes, thirty thousand dollars) of stolen musical instruments have been recovered in Texas and Alabama by using LeadsOnline. Not only were we able to recover the instruments – the suspect was linked to other crimes committed in other states. Before LeadsOnline, we would have to request pawnshop information from numerous different state agencies, which made it too time-consuming for our available resources. (That's just checking Oklahoma pawnshops.) With LeadsOnline, we can check pawnshops nationwide in the time it once took to check the 6 pawnshops in Oklahoma City. The minimal cost required for LeadsOnline has more than paid for itself already."

Det. Scott Gibbons
Oklahoma University Police Department

Musical instruments stolen from University music building; Recovered using LeadsOnline

"The University of Texas Police Department was able to recover approximately $10,000 worth of musical instruments that were taken in a burglary from the music building two weeks earlier. As a result of LeadsOnline, we were able to recover the musical instruments in another city and charge the suspect in this case with burglary. I have also cleared another case in which the same suspect was involved as a result information provided to me through LeadsOnline. Thank you, LeadsOnline, for providing me with one of the best systems for solving property crimes."

Sgt. Donna Maga
Criminal Investigation
University of Texas Police Department

Locating a wayward defendant

"LeadsOnline assists me in finding suspects that have left the area and are out on bond. I located a defendant on the other end of the state. He had stolen several musical instruments from the University and students. I recovered several of the items in Huntsville and Birmingham. He was selling stolen property to music stores. The defendant was out on bond for robbery from the Huntsville area when he committed the thefts on campus. LeadsOnline shows him pawning stolen jewelry in the Montgomery area. He is a suspect in a robbery in Montgomery."

Sgt. Shawn Giddy
Jacksonville State University Police Department

Internal theft

"We were able to find a stolen camcorder, which in turn led to the arrest of a University staff member."

Det. Travis Lively
Texas A&M University Police Department

Crime solving that gets great mileage

"I have been pleased with the LeadsOnline service. I was recently working on a case involving a person who had pawned items in multiple cities. Using LeadsOnline I was able to trace down items pawned in Dallas, Waxahachie, Lancaster, Irving and Ft. Worth without leaving my desk.

This used to take days to follow-up. I have been able to recover several items and with the cooperation of many pawn shop owners we will be bringing the suspect to justice."

Det. Daniel Claxton
Dallas ISD Police Department

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