With the holiday season getting closer, students and residents can take advantage of a new online tool provided by the Tallahassee Police Department to keep their valuable items safe.
TPD is providing residents with a tool to create a secure, online inventory of valuable household items in case of a burglary, fire or natural disaster. Residents will provide the serial numbers for their valuables on the website, leadsonline.com, and create a database that investigators can use to recover stolen items.
Users can also provide pictures of jewelry to the database. In the event of a burglary, users can print out the list of stolen items for investigators to enter into the national database. If another officer comes across the item in any part of the country, it can be safely returned to them.
“Residents use the database to record the serial number on their valuables, for example their TV or computer,” said Officer Dave Northway, public information officer for TPD.
According to Tallahassee Online Police Statistics, there have been approximately 2,193 crimes involving burglary and 1,375 crimes of theft in the past six months. Investigators have a much better chance at recovering stolen property if the owners provide a serial number, said Northway.
“Since students have so many visitors in and out of their house or apartment, it would make sense for them to put their computer or TV in the database,” said junior occupational therapy student Briana Hudson.
The database, however, is not an online insurance agency. The police department cannot financially reimburse residents in the case of their items being stolen.
“As much as I would like to get money in return for my stolen items, getting the actual item back is better than nothing,” said Hudson.
Tanesha Bryan, a junior history student, said she would use the database not only for things like her computer and TV, but for heirloom jewelry.
“I have family jewelry that I would put into the database,” said Bryan. “Those things mean more to me than a TV and anything that would help it to be returned to me in the event that it was stolen, I would take advantage of.
“There are other things residents can do to prevent their belongings from being stolen altogether,” said Northway. “When you leave your home, double-check to make sure all doors are locked. You can leave a light on to make it seem someone is home, or you can request an extra patrol officer to watch your home, free of charge, from talgov.com when you are out of town.”