New system will help Wichita police look for stolen property

The Wichita city council has approved changes in a city ordinance that will help police in looking for stolen property that may turn up at pawn shops or second-hand dealers.

Deputy police chief Jose Salcido said the system uses a program called LeadsOnline, and it will require pawn shops and second hand stores to report transactions within one business day.  The transactions are then checked with a national crime database to see if any items match with stolen property reports.    Salcido said if there is a match, that generates a lead that is referred back to the police department for follow-up by a detective.

Salcido said the system will help identify suspects faster and improve the police department’s ability to prosecute property crimes.  He said it could also help reduce the number of thefts and burglaries in the city, and it would provide for better detection of any interstate theft rings that may be operating.

The ordinance changes also allow for the entry of a firm called EcoATM into the Wichita market.   The company has kiosks to collect used cell phones and small electronic devices for recycling, and they would have to report serial numbers of the items they collect.  Law enforcement officers can request access to the kiosks to look for stolen items and any recorded data.   Salcido said if an item is reported stolen,  the kiosk would be required to return it to the police department.