Suppose one day someone close to you vanishes. You go to the police department or sheriff’s department and you tell them what happened and ask them to locate the person.

You describe the individual, where and when they were last seen. There’s only one problem – you don’t know the person’s name.

Without a name, what do you think the chances are of finding that person? You’re right – the chances are slim, dim, and none.

Now, suppose that instead of a person vanishing, a piece of property is taken from your house.

You describe the item to lawmen, where and when you last saw it, but you are unable to give the most important information of all – its serial number.

What are the chances of police or deputies recovering this item without a serial number? Again, slim, dim and none.

An item’s serial number serves the same function as a person’s name. It specifies and identifies the item.

A serial number also helps lawman recover that item. The chances of finding an item without a serial number are about equal to finding a person without a name.

Many law enforcement officers say they are able to make recoveries of stolen items in about one in three break-ins. One of the main reasons recoveries are so difficult is because they often don’t have a list of serial numbers of stolen items.

With serial numbers, the stolen items can be listed in law enforcement computers nationwide. When those items are found, the serial numbers allow quick identification.

Without those numbers, if items are found, lawmen have no way of telling who they belong to. Without those numbers, lawmen may be looking at a stolen item and not even know it was stolen.

Help improve the chances of getting stolen items back. Help lawmen find those items for you. Help catch the crook who took them.

Take a few minutes and list the serial number of items which are important to you.

Listing those items such as firearms, TVs, electronic equipment, lawnmowers, tractors, and the like won’t take long, and it will increase the chances of finding your property if it is stolen, deputies say.

Along a related line, one person here in town suggested that homeowners videotape valuable items with their cell phone. Among the items might be books and jewelry, along with items which may have serial numbers.

Videotaping these items serves several functions. It gives a picture of items which may be stolen or destroyed in a fire. Especially in the case of a fire or other types of home destruction, it can help reinforce an insurance claim.

Record your serial numbers, and videotape your valuables. The things you can recover or replace may be your own.

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