Partnership keeps stolen items from being pawned

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- If you've ever had something stolen, a partnership between Kennewick police and pawn shops could help you get stuff back.

Let it be a warning to anyone who visits a pawn shop. Try to pass off stolen stuff and you'll be caught.

"We ask for their drivers license. If they don't have ID, then we don't serve them at all," says Russell Delgesso, owner of Ed and Moe's Pawn Shop.

It starts with the tap of a keyboard, followed by a few simple questions, and then a telling snapshot. Before you know it, pawn shop owners like Delgesso have all the information they need to keep crooks from hawking your stuff.

"If you bring in stolen property and it makes it across our counter, you will be caught," Delgesso tells KEPR.

A program called Leads Online makes it all possible. In the blink of an eye, each transaction at Delgesso's store is electronically sent to police, including a picture of the seller and a picture of the item. From there, authorities cross-check to see if the item was reported stolen.

There is not a serial number on every item, so by taking a picture, it's another way safeguard that stolen goods aren't being sold in Kennewick.

Since being introduced two years ago, Leads Online has helped Kennewick police recover more than 100 stolen items.

Every pawn shop in Kennewick is required to use Leads Online. It's lead to stolen items being recovered from places across the state -- and out of the hands of crooks.

KPD is the only police department in the Tri-Cities that uses Leads Online.

Jewelry is the most-common item found stolen.