West Buechel Police hope high-tech tools will help catch thieves

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Helping catch criminals could really pay off.

On Friday, WDRB's Stephan Johnson got a look at the new tool one local police agency is using to get thieves off the street, and local residents are a crucial part of making it happen.

The West Buechel Police Department has been dealing with a number of break-ins and robberies, but a new online tool could help them catch the criminals and get stolen valuables back to their true owners.

You can find just about anything you're looking for at the Derby City Antique Mall on Old Bardstown Road in West Buechel. A few months ago, thieves found what they were looking for.

"We had somebody take some coins," said Kay Peak, who owns the store. "They belonged to one of our dealers."

The mall has surveillance cameras, but so far no arrests.

"I'd love it if they could catch somebody," she said.

That could happen sooner rather than later. The West Buechel Police Department is working the case, and say with your help, it can be solved.

"We get dozens and dozens of photos a week, but we can't always identify that person," said Ofc. James Hellinger.

And that's where are residents are needed. Police have two new tools that could help solve cases and put money in your pocket. The first is called Leads Online.

"It's an online reporting system, a recording system that allows us to track stolen property throughout the United States," Hellinger said.

That means when and if an arrest is made, police will know who the stolen items belong to. Meanwhile, the other tool is call IDThisPerson.com -- a Web site with photos of unknown criminals.

"We take the still captions, and we upload it to the Web site and if you're able to identify that person -- you can do it even anonymously -- you get a $25 dollar gift card," Hellinger said.

Back at the antique mall, owners are hoping the new technology will pay off in their case.

"First thing I'll do is give them the picture now," Peak said.

West Buechel just started using these new tools, and haven't made many arrests as a result, but they're hoping that will change once word spreads about the new technology.

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