While it may be difficult to identify suspects in robberies and violent crimes if the victim did not get a good look, remember that the suspects are likely to sell the stolen merchandise from the crime, leaving a trail. O’Neal has had success using the database to locate these suspects. With the timeline and the general location, investigators can get a list of people who have sold similar items to pawn shops in the area. Cross-referencing that list with jail records, looking for those who have committed similar crimes in the past, might yield a match. The same is true for identity theft, embezzlement and organized retail theft.
Clearly, there has been a huge change in the traditional buying process. In fact, according to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they even reach the vendor. The reason this is happening more and more is because buyers have so much access to information that they can delay talking to sales until they are experts themselves.