Website Helps Keep Track Of Electronics

Wednesday, November 26th 2008, 9:54 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- When sales are in full swing on Friday, many people will buy electronics. No one wants to spend their hard-earned money on something, only to have it stolen, but it happens.

That's why it's so important to write down your serial numbers.

When a burglary victim is interviewed, the first thing they ask is, "do you think I'll get my stuff back?"

Usually, the answer is no, because they don't have their serial numbers. Now, a website lets you keep track of everything you own, for free.

Lots of electronics will fly off store shelves between now and Christmas. People will open them, hook them up and use them, but most will not jot down their make, model and serial number, but that information is critical to get stolen property back to its owner.

"We want to try to get people's property back. It's very important to people and you have to help yourself a little bit to document things. The biggest problem with people who do make a list is they put it somewhere and lose it," said TPD Burglary Detective Jim McClaughry.

Business Watch International lets you register your property at its website for free.  It's easy to update when you get rid of an item or buy something new.

The list is always accessible and they use state of the art encryption to keep out hackers. If you are broken into, you have all you need.

"You can go to the website and start looking, serves as a reminder, had this, there it is, forgot about that, not here and put a check mark on it and print out the list of everything that's missing," said Detective McClaughry.

Burglary detectives routinely check flea markets, second hand stores and all pawn shop receipts, looking for serial numbers of stolen goods. They hate not being able to get it back to the person who paid for it.

"Just start this Friday when people are going out and buying electronics, start registering. At least new ones you bring into the house now," said Detective McClaughry.

Detective McClaughry says this spring, Business Watch will alert officers if something registered gets pawned.

That means if you're out of town, get broken into and the thief pawns your TV, police could know it even before you do.