RAPID system cuts down on sale of stolen goods - NBC40.net

RAPID system cuts down on sale of stolen goods

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Thieves beware, the Regional Automated Property Information Database, or RAPID, is making it more difficult to sell stolen precious metals and other items in Egg Harbor Township.

"What it should do is make people think twice about selling stolen merchandise because it's easier for this merchandise to be tracked and pin it to a crime," said president of Beachcomber Coins and Collectibles Douglas Keefe.

RAPID has been in used at Beachcomber Coins and Collectables for two months now.

The system takes information from the seller's driver's license as well as a picture of the item to add to a database accessible by Egg Harbor Township Police.

"Basically what it does, it makes it easier and more efficient for us to sort through the thousands of transaction slips, sales recipes, that we receive monthly in Egg Harbor Township," said Detective Captain with Egg Harbor Township Police, Christopher Ruef.

According to Egg Harbor Township Police, the system has returned around $80,000 in stolen property while leading to 11 arrests in just three months time.

"In the past where it would have taken three hours to search for an individual name or specific piece of jewelry, now it takes three seconds," said Detective Captain Ruef.

Douglas Keefe of Beachcombers has witnessed the efficiency of the system firsthand.

"The first day it was implemented with our company, they actually solved a case right away that same day so they were pretty excited about it and I think that this may end up being the catalyst to get something like this installed state-wide," said Keefe.

Egg Harbor Township is the first municipality to use RAPID in New Jersey and now the system is drawing the attention from other towns.

Egg Harbor Township Police say the vendors have been key in to the success of RAPID, and although it may add a few minutes to each transaction, the overall good of the system is hard to overlook.

"It makes it a lot easier for them, actually makes it a little harder for us," said Keefe.

 "Right now its something that in cooperation with them we'll be able to get it so it's a win/win for the department and ourselves."

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