What happens to stolen property?
Every few minutes, homes across the country are burglarized. It’s an unfortunate fact, made worse by the reality that most targets lack any type of alarm system. This gives thieves uninterrupted time inside a house to grab valuable possessions. It also one of the main reasons that a large percentage of burglars remain uncaught. Mostly, intruders are looking for electronics, jewelry, prescription drugs and firearms. But what happens to the stolen property after it’s taken?
Following a robbery, police will instruct the residents to call their insurance company. Their policy should help cover the cost of many lost or damaged items. Photos and detailed records of big ticket items will help in determining the overall value of the stolen goods.
Thieves will likely pocket prescription drugs and cash for their own use. It’s best not to leave large quantities of either lying around the house in obvious or visible locations. For other unique items such as electronics or sporting equipment, check out the closest pawn shop or second-hand store. If your property is labeled with permanent marker, embroidery or engraving, there will be no doubt about its ownership. However, a homeowner should not confront a clerk with their claim but rather contact the original police officers from the robbery. Their reports will prove your statement and allow for greater safety, in case the shopkeeper has knowledge of the crime.
A number of residents are also collectors, with large sets of books, guns or other valuables. Such property could have factored into the motivation for targeting the property in the first place. Owners should then search specialty stores and events that focus on that particular hobby, as there may be a smaller market for the goods.
Online listings such as Craig’s list and Kijiji can quickly post and sell a wide variety of merchandise. These outlets are fast becoming a favourite of thieves looking to offload valuables. In fact, detectives in Portland received so many calls from victims locating their own possessions on the sites that they set up a special Burglary Task Force to recover stolen items online by posing as buyers.
Of course, not everyone wants to wait for officers to act, as beloved items can disappear from a posting in a matter of minutes. One Vancouver woman found her high-end $1,000 bike on a Craig’s list ad and answered the posting as a buyer. The seller was a suspected drug addict and the petite 33-year-old boldly snatched the bicycle and rode away.
Police caution against such acts, as the thief could be a seasoned criminal with violent tendencies. A Prince George man bought back his stolen car after questioning some seedy characters in the city. He managed to track down the original culprit, who sold the vehicle back to the man, without knowing his true identity as the owner. Authorities chastised the man, as a growing number of burglaries are committed in desperation by unpredictable drug users.
To avoid becoming a victim of property crime, protect your home. Call 1-866-282-3331 for a free quote or visit alarmguardsecurity.ca for details.