SHEPHERDSVILLE - Lt. Mike Murdoch could not calculate the hours law enforcement officers would spend tracking down stolen items.
Daily trips to local pawn shops and scrap yards were common.
But a couple of years ago, Murdoch said the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office was able to get fiscal court to pass an ordinance.
That ordinance required pawn shops, scrap metal yards and anyone who bought items of value for resell to participate in a program, Leads-on-Line.
Since participation started, Murdoch estimated over $250,000 worth of stolen property had been recovered.
And, more than that, detectives now have time to work on solving cases, not traveling to pawn shops.
“It has been unbelievable,” Murdoch said of the software program.
As part of the ordinance, each of the vendors who purchase items have to register those goods on-line within 24 hours.
And they must hold those items at least 14 calendar days.
Space on the program allows for information about the items, photographs, and details on who is pawning or scraping the items.
As the monitor of the program, Murdoch said the online software provides him with an unlimited amount of information.
It has helped locate sellers who may frequent various shops.
As Murdoch was giving a demonstration, deputy Charles Mann came in with information from a stolen property case. Quickly, photos of the scrapped items were displayed, as well as the person who sold the items.
In the past, Murdoch said that would have resulted in hours of tracking down information.
“It’s a really neat system,” said Murdoch.
And not only does it help program participants, such as the sheriff’s office, Murdoch said he is able to pass along information to other police agencies.
He is also able to search nationwide, although most of the information is gathered from a five-county area.
At first, some of the vendors were not pleased with the ordinance and their added responsibility.
Since that time, Murdoch said most have seen the value. Plus, it saves their employees time from answering questions from detectives who would be visiting the stores daily.
And added bonus is that merchants who are not following the rules, could be put out of business.
“It helps keep out some businesses who aren’t doing things properly,” said Murdoch.
For citizens of the community, the online service provides the ability to store an inventory of items in their home or business. The secure list is not accessible by law enforcement but it can be helpful to have that information available in case of a burglary.
The annual fee of $2,000 to participate is very small in terms of the stolen items recovered and the manpower hours saved.
“It is well worth the expense,” said Murdoch. “It has been a very important program to help us solve a lot of crimes.”
For more information how you might be part of the citizen inventory system, contact Murdoch at 543-2514.