Riverside Police use LeadsOnline to identify suspect in burglary from 2010 incident

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An automated hit from the LeadsOnline investigations system provided Riverside Police a lead in a burglary case from 2010.

An automated hit from the LeadsOnline investigations system provided Riverside Police a lead in a burglary case from 2010. The intelligence provided by LeadsOnline led to the eventual arrest of Edgar A. Hernandez for a burglary committed November 17, 2010.

Hernandez, 46, of Mount Prospect, Ill., was arrested by Riverside Police around 2 p.m., March 26, outside a retail store in a shopping mall in Mount Prospect. Hernandez was taken into custody without incident. Mr. Hernandez was charged with one count of theft of lost or stolen property.

Prior to implementing LeadsOnline, Riverside Police had to collect and sift through paper tickets that were cumbersome to manage and search when investigating cases. Keeping up with the volume of information was costly and overwhelming, and detectives were limited to searching for stolen property within the city. Riverside businesses, as well as more than 20,000 businesses nationwide, that accept merchandise from the public are reporting electronically via LeadsOnline, giving detectives the ability to see outside of their jurisdiction and solve crimes that would otherwise go unsolved.

In the 2010 burglary, the offender forced entry into a locked garage on the 200 block of Millbridge Road. At that time police had no leads on a suspect but developed a stolen property list. They recently submitted that stolen property list to LeadsOnline, an online investigations system used by law enforcement nationwide to solve crimes involving property. Several months ago Riverside Police were notified that one of the stolen items from the burglary, a GPS unit, was found at a jewelry store in Elk Grove Village.

Investigators tried to hunt down the suspect, but he had numerous false addresses, including a post office box address as his home address, fictitious addresses, and one that registered to an empty parking lot in the northern suburbs.

Through investigation police learned that the suspect was a truck driver and would be out of state for weeks at a time. As leads developed, investigators learned that Hernandez would pick up his mail on a certain day and time in Mount Prospect. On March 26, investigators staked out that address and arrested Hernandez as he exited the business after retrieving his mail. Hernandez has been charged with one count of theft of lost or stolen property, that being the GPS unit.

In a statement to police, Hernandez stated he had a drug problem in 2010 and committed thefts and burglaries to support his habit. He admitted to selling gold items at Cash for Gold locations throughout the state and specifically chose certain locations because they didn't keep records. However, the break came in this case when a pawn shop owner, who kept records, submitted his information to LeadsOnline and police were notified when the serial number hit in relation to the original Riverside burglary.

LeadsOnline equips criminal investigators with the ability to instantly solve crimes and to return goods to their rightful owners. Property can be searched using serial numbers, suspect name, item descriptions, or other information. Most searches are completed within seconds. Often, these property crimes are associated with larger crimes such as homicides, arson, and fraud.

Riverside Chief Thomas Weitzel said, “Tenacious investigation was done by personnel who worked this long-term burglary case. While Mr. Hernandez was charged, the investigation is not over. We originally recovered blood at the crime scene on a broken window and that information will be submitted against known DNA for possible additional charges. A large stumbling block in this case was that the State of Illinois allowed Hernandez to list a street address that was a private post office box company as his home address in Mount Prospect on his driver’s license, his license plates, and all other legal documents. This should not be allowed by the Secretary of State and other enforcement action should be taken as a result of his fictitious listing of his home address on legal documents”. Mr. Hernandez had in fact been living at an address in Melrose Park.

Chief Weitzel sent a letter to the Secretary of State's office notifying them of this situation.

Officers who worked this case, R10-11832, were Lt. Bill Legg, Detective Sgt. Dave Krull, and Officer Edwin Ruiz.

LeadsOnline (http://www.leadsonline.com) is the nation’s largest online investigative system used by more than 4,000 law enforcement agencies to recover stolen property and solve crimes. Each day, millions of items are added to the LeadsOnline database by businesses including secondhand stores, scrap metal recyclers, pawn shops, and Internet drop-off stores across all 50 states. Those records are instantly available to law enforcement agencies, meaning crimes can be solved in seconds, not months. The LeadsOnline system, compatible with the NCIC, serves as an indispensible, efficient, and money-saving resource for detectives because it provides a cross-jurisdictional, instantaneous, and accurate database that stops criminals from escaping detection by selling stolen items in another city. An official eBay partner, LeadsOnline helps prevent illegal transactions on the eBay website by giving law enforcement access to the world’s largest online marketplace through automatic upload of all eBay transactions into the LeadsOnline database. LeadsOnline also includes LeadsOnlabs, a system for tracking those involved in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamines; a Metal Theft Investigation System designed to track copper and other metal thefts; and cross-checks names of pawn customers against the OFAC SDN list of known terrorists and narcotics traffickers. Each year, LeadsOnline is credited with recovering millions of dollars in stolen goods and solving thousands of crimes that are often associated with bigger crimes, such as homicide, identity theft, and arson. Based in Dallas, LeadsOnline works with thousands of agencies throughout the country, including the Chicago Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, and the San Francisco Police Department.

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Lindsay Williams

Chief Thomas Weitzel
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