Database tracks stolen items at pawn shops - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Working for You: Database tracks stolen items at pawn shops in our region

Posted: Updated:
This database tracks stolen items that are pawned at shops across the country. This database tracks stolen items that are pawned at shops across the country.
ST. ALBANS, WV -

When Liam and Aiden Thaxton and their friends plugged in the used Xbox their mom bought them last weekend, they got quite the shock.  They had bought their own Xbox back. 

Last April, their Xbox, along with other items from their mom's house were stolen.  After months of thinking it might show up at a pawn shop, their mom went out on Saturday to get another one.

Erin Ashley said, "We brought it home, they set it up, and they came running into the kitchen and they said, Mom, we bought our own Xbox back."  Erin said she purchased their stolen Xbox, from a pawn shop, five months later.  "It floored me.  I was just shocked," she said. 

We wanted to know what authorities do to get back your stolen items.

In Kanawha County, where Erin's things were stolen, the Sheriff's Office uses a database called LeadsOnline.com.  Deputies said the majority of pawn shops in Kanawha County enter serial numbers of items pawned into the web site.  When someone reports an item stolen, deputies check that number in the database.  When there's a match, the property is handed back over to the rightful owner through a deputy.  

There is a section on the web site for everyone else too.  You can go to the civilian page and register items that you believe could have potential to be stolen.  Registering items makes things easier if your belongings are ever stolen.

For now, Liam and Aiden have their Xbox back and the Sheriff's Office says that over the last three years the database has retrieved hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen items.

Deputies said there is some human error that can cause the database to be ineffective.  When even one wrong digit is entered into the site, it won't work.   They said that could be the reason why the system didn't work for Erin, but they are investigating.