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Useful tool helps reunite stolen property with rightful owners

By Lisa Robbins

April 29, 2014

Theft, breaking and entering, and burglaries are some of the most common cases investigated by the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department, according to Sgt. Scott Deitz.

"It's very very common, I would say it's the majority of our cases," he said.

He said most of the cases are also tied to drugs.

"They'll tell you, that's the only thing they care about is getting their next fix," he said.

Deputies recently found thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods at an apartment in Kanawha County. They found cell phones, power tools, laptops, and more. Now, they're tasked with trying to find out who the items belong to, and it's not as easy as it looks.

Deitz said it's extremely important for people to document their valuables.

"If you have a video camera, just walk through your house and video the items," he said.

Deitz also recommends keeping track of your valuables through a website called 'ReportIt'.

ReportIt lets you securely store serial numbers, pictures, and item descriptions of your most prized possessions. Without this information, it's much harder for authorities to figure out who the items belong to.

"You have no many idea how many of those TVs are out there. There's no way for me to really locate it unless you have someone, a witness who can provide me with some information," he said.

Every morning, Deitz checks LeadsOnline, an online investigation system used by law enforcement to recover stolen property. If a stolen item is pawned, it'll show up in the system. Deitz then checks the serial number of the items pawned with the serial number in the database to see if it's a match.

Deitz said ReportIt can be extremely helpful for theft victims. Using the website, people can print out the serial numbers and information of the items they have stored. Victims can turn in this information to authorities when they file a police report.

Source: http://www.wowktv.com/story/25379876/useful-tool-helps-reunite-stolen-property-with-rightful-owners

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