FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Police have caught a woman selling hundreds of dollars’ worth of jewelry at a pawn shop: jewelry that didn’t belong to her. Thanks to some good police work and cooperation from the business, detectives uncovered one of the items was actually a family heirloom that was reported missing after a home burglary.
Police and pawn shops have had a good relationship sharing information for years. But thanks to some new technology, they’re able to track down several items that may not have been able to be found otherwise.
It’s a process customers selling items at pawn shops have to go through – they have to give their personal information, a picture, and fingerprints.
“Not only does this help identify bad guys, but it is the perfect protection against identity theft. Someone can steal your picture, name, social security number, drivers license number. They have to try very hard to steal your thumbprint,” Lev’s Pawn Shop District Manager Victor Amato said.
All of the information goes into a database called LEADS online. Something police use to cross reference with items that have been reported missing.
“We have also been able to match items that have been taken outside of the Fort Wayne area and in fact neighboring states,” FWPD Spokesperson Michael Joyner said.
This exact process is how detectives found Shelley Davies, the woman who sold $600 worth of jewelry that did not belong to her. And she could be facing additional charges.
“We’ll be looking at previous activities and see if there are links to other thefts or burglaries of those particular items that she has been pawning.”
As temperatures rise and you decide to open your windows, police say that’s the easiest way thieves can break into your home.
“If ever you wanted to take the time to record your valuables, now is the time. Not tomorrow, now.”
Police say you can directly input serial numbers and pictures of valuables online for free into the same database they use. Just click here.