Recording Serial Numbers
There are several things that can be done to deter would-be thieves. One of the most important, and often overlooked, is to copy down the make, model and serial numbers of your property. If there is no serial number then the property should be marked in some way to identify the owner.
Serial numbers given to police after a crime are entered into an Edmonton-based computer system and a Canada-wide police computer system, which can cause real problems for thieves.
If a person is found with suspected stolen property, the serial number can confirm that it is stolen. This then allows police to solve current and past crimes and gather information about who is doing what.
Sometimes pawn shops are used to get rid of stolen property. However, the EPS checks serial numbers in all pawn shops in Edmonton before the property can be sold. If a person pawns stolen property at a pawn shop then he/she will be charged.
What you should do:
Create a home inventory list! Catalog your belongings with detailed information such as make, model, serial number, value, purchase date. Take photos, create a video walkthrough of your home, write a list of your property in a notebook, a computer file like a Word or Excel document, and keep your list in a safe, secure location in your home or a security deposit box. You can download this Personal Property Inventory checklist from the Insurance Bureau of Canada to help you keep track of your property.
The most valuable reason for recording serial numbers is that it allows police to return property to the rightful owner and aids in any insurance claims if you experience an emergency in your home!
Victim of Theft?
- Report your stolen property to police, otherwise it makes it more difficult for us to find you if we find your property first.
- You can look on social media/ buy and sell sites for your property.
- If you find it, don’t make contact, call police (780-423-4567) or call your investigator.
- Again, don’t make contact with the seller.
If you post your property as stolen on social media and you receive information, contact police with the information. Do not investigate on your own.
Finding your stolen property
The Edmonton Police Service has a Pinterest page called, Missing Something? We feature some of our unique recovered stolen or lost property on our boards. Take a look to see if your stolen item is on our page. If it is, email EPSPinterest@edmontonpolice.ca
Purchasing Stolen Property
Serial numbers are also a good general deterrent for people purchasing items. Most people do not want to purchase stolen property because it’s wrong, but they also do not want to risk being charged with possession of stolen property. If you suspect an item you may be purchasing is stolen, you can check the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) first. You can also check a bicycle's serial number on Bike Index to see if it has been reported stolen.
Learn about other security measures you can take around your home
to deter criminals from targeting you and your property.