Pawn Shop Database Tracks Stolen Goods

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Burglars who think they can quickly pawn off their stolen items need to think again, local law officers are teaming up to put a halt to that practice.

Digital cameras, guns and jewelry are just a few of the popular items showing up in a law enforcement database that tracks stolen goods.

Advances in the system are helping authorities crack down on criminals. That's getting stolen goods back to the owners faster, and putting more thieves behind bars.

The Folmar Gun and Pawn shop receives hundreds of items each week, but the owner says stolen items are not welcome.

"If people have items that are stolen and they report them to the police they will have a much better chance of recovering their stolen properties," said Mark Folmar, owner of Folmar Gun and Pawn Shop.

An upgrade in the Leon County database and a new partnership between the Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement are helping track thieves who sell stolen items.

Leon County Sheriff's LT. Steven Harrelson says, "The system has now grown into a multi-county system that allows 18 counties to enter their pawn info and it's able to track their pawn and data."

Historically the system required pawn shops to keep receipts, a process which could take up to three weeks to track down a thief.

"Almost immediately once we started going to the electronic system, some items were stolen and the detectives got the case the next day, we ran the check in the pawn system and found the items were pawned, and they were obtained and we were able to get the suspects," said Harreslon.

Law enforcement urge people to keep track of serial numbers on any items they buy, whether it be a TV, camera or a gun. Detectives need these numbers to identify the items in the system.

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