PONTIAC — An 18-year-old Rochester Hills man was arrested and charged with home invasion after police used a new online system that helps them identify and recover stolen property.
The system is called LeadsOnline. Oakland County’s Courts Law Enforcement Management Information System began providing the system to its member agencies earlier in April.
In this case, LeadsOnline led detectives to a pawn shop where they were able to connect Peter Difranco with items stolen in a home invasion.
Troy police pulled over a car in which Diranco was a passenger. The vehicle contained a large quantity of jewelry. Suspecting the jewelry might have been stolen, Troy police contacted Oakland County sheriff’s detective Howard Weir, who was investigating home invasions in Rochester Hills.
Weir asked Auburn Hills police to run Difranco through LeadsOnline. Investigators determined Difranco had pawned several pieces of jewelry at the Check N Gold on Rochester Road in Rochester Hills.
A few days later, Waterford Township police told Weir they had identified a guitar at a local pawn shop as having been stolen from Rochester Hills. Difranco had pawned the guitar.
With this combination of evidence, Difranco was arraigned for a home invasion in the 1800 block of Ludgate Lane in Rochester Hills. He remains jailed on a $15,000 cash surety bond.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said that “CLEMIS and LeadsOnline together will be a very powerful tool for our investigators.”
LeadsOnline also offers residents a free online service called ReportIt. Local residents can catalog information about their valuables by setting up a free online account at reportit.leadsonline.com. If they are robbed, residents can print the information from any computer with Internet access and give it to police. Having detailed information about valuables will help police track property if it is stolen.
CLEMIS, which dates back to the late 1960s, is used today by about 100 southeast Michigan agencies, which share information on the system, and more than 200 public safety agencies, which use it to manage administrative tasks.
LeadsOnline is the nation’s largest online investigative system, used by more than 4,400 law enforcement agencies to recover stolen property and solve crimes. Each day, millions of items are added to the LeadsOnline database by second-hand stores, scrap metal recyclers, pawn shops, and Internet drop-off stores. Those records are instantly available to law enforcement agencies, meaning crimes can be solved in seconds. LeadsOnline helps prevent illegal transactions on eBay as well.