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How to Identify Your Valuables

October 16th, 2013 | by admin admin | in Security Advice |    10   comments

jewellery.jpgEvery year, Metro Vancouver police departments auction off thousands of recovered stolen items. You’ll find good deals on bikes, jewellery, electronics and other valuables. You might even find an item that was stolen from you. But if you can’t prove it’s yours, it goes to the highest bidder.

So, how do you keep your stuff out of the auction house? Keep good records.

The camera is your friend. The City of Richmond recommends that you take a home photo inventory. Walk around your house, snapping photos or taking videos of every room, wall and closet in your house. Gather up your jewellery, artwork, coins and other items that are difficult to describe. Include a ruler, to show size, and a list of any identifying marks in each photo.

Take inventory. On a paper or electronic spreadsheet, record the make, model, serial number and any identifying marks of each valuable item. Here’s a sample spreadsheet from the Vancouver Police.

Make your mark. Engrave your B.C. driver’s license or B.C. Identification Card number on any items without serial numbers. Vancouver community policing centres will even lend you an engraving pen for the job. If you don’t want the number to show, consider using an invisible ink pen.

Protect your records. Make multiple copies of your photos, videos and spreadsheet. Then keep one or more copies off site, in a secure location such as your safety deposit box. Leaving all the information on your laptop would not be helpful.

Got everything? You may be surprised by what burglars consider valuable. Here are some common items you should consider identifying and recording:

  • TVs and DVD players
  • Binoculars
  • Stereo Equipment
  • Smartphones, iPods, MP3 players, radios and CD players
  • Computers
  • Cameras and other photography equipment
  • Lawnmowers
  • Fishing rods, reels
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Bicycles
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Outboard Motors
  • Golf clubs
  • Musical instruments
  • Guns

Now your property is clearly identified as yours. If it is ever stolen, you’ll have a much smoother time filing a police report and insurance claim. And if the police recover your item, you’ll have a much better chance of getting it back.

Otherwise, you can bid for it at the next police auction.

Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.

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