A home burglary occurs once every 15 seconds in the United States and results in an average dollar loss of about $1,600. Sometimes, even though you’ve done everything right to protect your family and your home—including installing and using a home security system—the bad guys win. If you’re the victim of a burglary, you’re probably trying to figure out how you can get your stuff back.
Well, believe it or not there are some websites that can help you hunt down your items. Here are four of them to help you in your search:
- Stolen 911 was founded as a public service to help fight crime by Marc Hinch, a 17-year veteran police detective in California. With Stolen 911, you can create a free “Internet fingerprint” of your stolen items that are then indexed on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Once you’ve made a post about a stolen item, you can share it on various social media websites. Stolen property posted on Stolen 911 will be listed and remain searchable for one year. If your property isn’t recovered in one year, you can relist it at no charge every year until it’s found. Additionally, anyone can view or post stolen property on Stolen 911–no sign up is necessary to search the user-created database.
- Stolen Lost Found is an online database of stolen, lost, and found property. You can use this website to report your items lost or stolen. You can also report items you’ve found so their owners may claim them. If you’re thinking about buying a pre-owned item, you can check the database to be sure the item hasn’t been lost or stolen. Stolen Lost Found also offers tips on how to prevent theft, how to file a police report and how to track your stolen items. The website also lets you post tips about stolen items anonymously.
- Stolen-Property is an international stolen property database. It was created to let you report your stolen items online. You can also search stolen items in the site’s property database before you decide to purchase pre-owned merchandise. You can search items by serial number, vehicle identification number, product, or brand. This site also lets you create and store an inventory of your property. You just upload information such as serial numbers, photos, and/or receipts to the database. Then leave the “report on stolen property” box unchecked in your user listing(s), so your property won’t appear in the database as stolen or be viewable by the public. The Stolen Property Tip Center is chock full of tips to help you report stolen property, recover stolen property and prevent theft.
- Prey is an app created specifically to help you locate your lost or stolen phone, laptop or tablet. It can locate your laptops, phones, and tablets on a map, take pictures from all their cameras, take screenshots from your computer, or even remotely wipe the data from your device. Prey is a tiny piece of software installed on devices (the Prey agent), and it is also the online system used to track them (your Prey account). Prey can protect and track down all your devices that run Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Prey is available for free for everyone, there are also paid subscription plans that offer more features.
Each of these websites is a good resource after the fact. However, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so be sure to install a home security system to help protect your family and your property.
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