Only On 11: TPD fights underground economy that uses stolen goods to fuel heroin epidemic

Only On 11: TPD fights underground economy that uses stolen goods to fuel heroin epidemic

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo police say there is an underground economy filled with people selling stolen items to sustain the heroin epidemic in the area.

Stolen goods are brought into pawn shops and sold online for cash which is then used to buy heroin.

"There is an underground economy that is fueling the heroin problem in Toledo," said Officer Blake Watkiss from TPD's Property Recovery Unit. "It's all over and it's also gotten its hands into what we call legitimate businesses."

Because of this, a new unit has been created to help people get back their stolen items, and a new system is in place for people to keep track of everything in their homes.

Now residents can log into a free website called Report It for extra insurance on the things that they own. The website helps TPD find stolen items which may be involved in the cycle fueling Toledo's heroin problem.

"You can log all your information," said Det. Kim Volanti from the Property Recovery Unit. So if anything should happen, it's either lost or stolen, you can go to Report It and it will already have your serial numbers and everything right there."

In addition to using this tool, police are also keeping tabs on what people are bringing into pawn shops and selling online. They report that in some cases, they are able to confiscate items before the rightful owners notice they are gone.

"Actually, the business hadn't even discovered it yet. I believe it was around $23,000 worth of property that was recovered," said Sgt. John Rose, of the Property Recovery Unit.

The new unit, they report, has made a big difference.

To register your belongings on Report It, click here.

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