The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office is looking at signing up for an online program to replace the paper ticket system, which will allow investigators to more quickly search for stolen goods that might be brought to pawn shops locally and nation-wide.
RCSO Chief Deputy Scott Freeman explained at the Tuesday night Board of Commissioners work session that currently, a RCSO investigator has to physically go out and collect thick bundles of paper tickets from the shops. Then a RCSO employee has to manually enter the information into GCIC, the Georgia Crime Information Center.
That means there is typically a lag time of about six to seven months.
The www.leadsonline.com program would cost about $9,500 annually to the RCSO. It is free for pawn brokers and since the program is web-based, it is available wherever there is an internet connection.
The RCSO is also working with Code Enforcement revise county ordinances to eventually make it mandatory for pawn shops to use the program or risk losing their business license.
Lisa Little, owner of Fieldstone Jewelry and Pawn, said her store had already been uploading their merchandise information to the Leadsonline.com website, since it is free for pawn brokers, and she had been talking about the program to RCSO deputies for a few years. "I think it will be good for the community. It'll help the community understand that we don't want to take in stolen merchandise. It gives us an opportunity to get (the information) to the law enforcement in a timely manner."
Jasmine Henderson of Elite Pawn said the store had been using an online program called Pawnmasters for several months. "I think it's a great idea. It's less time consuming. It's easier because we're not trying to print (the tickets) out to physically hand them to the Sheriff's Office."
Freeman added that members of the public can use a version of the program themselves to search for stolen or missing items or to store serial code numbers in case their items are ever stolen. That website is https://reportit.leadsonline.com/
The Board of Commissioners will vote on the contract for using leadsonline.com at the Sept. 10 meeting.