By Polly Keary, Editor
When a burglar makes off with a person’s prized possessions, that person usually calls the police, hoping the police can help get the goods back.
But many people aren’t prepared to give the police what they need to get those goods back; that being serial numbers, excellent descriptions, and clear photos of the items taken.
Now a new service paid for by the Monroe Police can make it easier for both law enforcement and victim by providing a place on the internet to confidentially store photos and descriptions of one’s most valuable possessions, in case any of them are ever stolen.
The service is called ReportIt, and it’s part of a larger service to which the police department subscribes, called LeadOnLine. At https://reportit.leadsonline.com/ citizens can make a free account, and then load up pictures and descriptions of valuables, as well as scans of receipts.
“A lot of times, when we respond to prowls and burglaries, they don’t have photos or serial numbers, so it’s really difficult,” said Sgt. Ryan Irving with the Monroe Police Department. “But at ReportIt, they can get a list of the things stolen and print it out.”
The Monroe Police Department is paying $3,000 per year for the service, but it’s free to citizens.
Once the police have serial numbers, or photos and good descriptions of things that don’t have serial numbers like jewelry, then they can enter them in their service, LeadsOnline.
The police department uses LeadsOnline to track and recover stolen property such as jewelry, electronics, cameras, designer clothing, collectibles and items of person value, police said.
Many pawn shops report all the items they take in to LeadsOnline, as well, and police immediately have access to it.
And once the record of a theft of an object is entered on LeadsOnline, if those items are ever pawned in the future, they will pop up on the database and police can recover them. Police are able to search all eBay transactions, too.
The Monroe department has had LeadsOnline since March, and already the police have successfully recovered some stolen property through it, Irving said.
Monroe Police Department Spokesperson Deb Willis said that the department is now trying to make everyone aware of the free service, and is also encouraging people to create an account and start building a personal property list right away.
“It’s one of those things people say they are going to do one day, but then they have an incident like a burglary, and they say, ‘Why didn’t I do that? I don’t have any good information about my things,’” said Willis.