Protecting your electronics and other valuable items
Prince George, Crime Prevention
2021-01-05 08:14 PST
When you get new electronics or other valuable items for Christmas it is often the last thing on your mind to record their particular information in the event someone steals them. The desire check your social media feed on your new tablet overrides the need to record its serial number. However, it only takes a few seconds to write down the information that could result in you getting your property back in the unfortunate event it is stolen.
The make, model and value of the item are important bits of information that will help an investigation, but the serial number of the item is vital if you become a victim of property crime. Police add the serial numbers to a national database that any police officer in the country can check. For example, it is likely that you are not the only person who bought a particular make and model of tablet. If your home is broken into and the police catch someone with the same make and model of tablet that you just had stolen, if the item has no identifying markers it may be difficult to prove in court that it belongs to you. A serial number is one of a kind and virtually indisputable piece of evidence in court. Even if there is no evidence to support a Break & Enter charge, it is solid evidence to support a Possession of Stolen Property charge.
Cartoon image of two people stealing a TV
The Prince George RCMP would like to encourage the public to take a few minutes and record this information in the event that someone steals your belongings. Details such as the make, model, purchase price, serial number and accurate description will assist police immensely. Another great step is to take a picture of your valuables. A picture also helps police get information out about your stolen item. Media outlets like newspapers and television stations are more likely to publish or air articles with photos than without.
The Prince George RCMP would also like to suggest that property owners engrave their driver’s license number on their valuables. This allows the police to access the property owner’s information from anywhere, possibly even before the owner knows it is missing. The police often locate known criminals with property we believe is stolen, but it has not been reported. In the absence of other evidence, the officer may have to let that person go with the property. An engraved driver’s license number would give the officer a chance to contact the owner and make enquiries. Even if the owner were not at home, police would have grounds to hold that property until they can speak with the owner of the item.
If you have any information about property related crimes in the Prince George area, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only). You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property, you could be eligible for a cash reward.
Cst. Jennifer CooperCommunications NCO / Media Relations Officer
Prince George RCMP
455 Victoria Street, Prince George, BC, V2L 0B7
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