Theft Protection: How to Recover Your Stolen Property
Posted November 7th, 2012 by Kevin Raposo
Our Apple Macbook has just been stolen from your home. All your personal information, pictures, videos, etc. are gone and now in the hands of some thief. There are a lot of things going through your mind and the thought that your personal security has been breached devastates your piece of mind.
Take heart. Dry your eyes. It’s time to start hunting for your stuff using these tips provided by SimpliSafe home security.
First Things First: Call the Police!
If you have been the victim of burglary or theft, calling the police should be your first move. The police may come to your home and investigate. If they catch the thieves, you’ll have a better chance of getting your stuff back.
Be sure to file a police report and provide as much detail as possible about your stolen goods, such as: number of stolen items with their descriptions, serial numbers (if applicable), photos, or any information of who may have taken them.
Stay on top of your case: call weekly to see if the police have made any progress in finding your stuff. There will be TONS of similar cases open. Be a squeaky wheel.
When a burglar needs to unload an item for some quick cash, their usual first stop is the pawn shop.
You will probably have to search all the pawn shops in your town and surrounding towns. Searching pawn shops immediately after the theft will boost your chances of finding your stolen goods.
Quick Tip: If you do find your item in a pawn shop, don’t tell the shop it’s yours. Remember the shop has already paid money for the item which they will lose if the item is in fact stolen. Act interested in the item, ask the shop to hold it for you, and then leave the shop to call the police. When the police show up, provide an officer with your police report and let them take care of the rest.
Craigslist: A Surplus of Stolen Goods
A thief can easily sell your stolen goods online on Craigslist or Ebay, and the buyer would be none the wiser. It’s actually a successful tool for a thief and also an easy source to rake in cash off your property.
I recently stumbled onto a valuable resource that can help you recover your stolen goods. Stolen911 created a custom Google search engine to find your stolen property on Craigslist.
Here's how it works:
Enter the type in the make and model into the search field. The search engine crawls all of Craiglist ads to see if anyone is selling something similar to your stolen stuff. Not only does it search your local area, it searches all states and cities. Stolen911.com is an easy way to get stolen property indexed by the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Searching for your stolen property on Craigslist can increase your chance of recovering your stolen items. For example, This woman went on Craigslist and worked with officers to find $6,650 of property stolen from her home.
Social Media Can Help Recover Stolen Property
Lately, I have been seeing news reports and articles of theft victims recovering their stolen items via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook users helped a woman in England find her stolen car. Believe it or not, even golf carts and canoes have been recovered with the help of the internet.
About four months ago, a buddy of mine’s car was broken into and someone had stolen his expensive stereo system. I immediately told him to post his experience on Facebook, and he did. About three days later, he had received a message from a mutual friend on Facebook letting him know that he might have known the person who broke into his car. The mutual friend said he was looking through Craigslist and found the exact same stereo system that my friend had described in his post. Long story short, my friend ended up finding the culprit who broke into his car!
Going this route is a long shot but it’s worth a try. There are a lot of good people out there in your social media network that will share your terrible experience with others and hopefully, help you recover your property.
One Final Suggestion
At the end of the day, there is no guarantee that you will successfully recover your stolen property, but the suggestions mentioned above have been proven to work for some. In order to avoid having your valuables taken from your home, it’s always a good idea to have a home security system in place.