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Advice For Protecting Your Property From Burglars
There are more than 9,000 burglaries a year in the City of Austin. So with a crime this common, what can you do to make sure you get your stuff back?
Police say it’s as easy as grabbing pen and paper and writing your serial numbers down. That can help you recover thousands in stolen property and put criminals behind bars.
Eric Cleveland, a burglary detective with the Austin Police Department, says knowing what you have before a burglary is more important than trying to find out afterwards.
"Having the serial numbers for the property is a big piece of the puzzle,” says Cleveland.
Matthew Zuniga, who’s worked in the pawn industry for over five years says he’s seen his share of shady characters and knows how beneficial it can be for victims to have their serial numbers on hand.
"Especially around the holidays people are going around taking items that don't belong to them, we may see an influx of items coming in that don't belong to that person,” said Zuniga.
State law requires pawn shops register any electronics that come in on a database that can be accessed by police, like the National Crime Information Center and leadsonline.com
“It’s a way for us to look for stolen property that's been pawned. Our evidence warehouse is full of suspected stolen property that we can't give back to owners because we don't know who it belongs to," said Cleveland.
Police say only about 20 percent of people who have been victimized are ready with the serial numbers of their stolen property.
For more information on how to keep track of your property, go to http://www.leadsonline.com/main/civilians/civilians.php.
By Angel Covarrubias