A city ordinance passed in the fall requires pawn shops, jewelry stores and any business that buys items from customers to report information to an online database. They have to log what was bought and who bought it. The information is then sent to police each night.
This month, the program is being phased in at more than a dozen city businesses.
Chicopee Police Captain Steven Muise says home break-ins are some of the least solved crimes.
“But with programs like this, it’s starting to pick up a little bit,” said Captain Muise.
Muise says the program is part of the New England State Police Information Network, which includes hundreds of other police departments. It prevents officers from physically going to each business in the city to look at their log books to find stolen goods. It also allows them to check items from other participating communities where the stolen items could turn up.
“The house breakers and business breakers are starting to get more intelligent and they know not to sell the stuff in the same community they are stealing from,” said Captain Muise.
Hollister Jewelry and Coins is one of the first businesses to install the program.
Owner Archie Moe says he’s happy to be helping the police.
“I hate thieves coming in here and if we can catch them and lock them up and keep them out of here great,” said Moe.
Besides the database, businesses are required to hold onto items for 30 days.