Stolen Goods On The Net

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld, APD
Cpl. Jerry Neufeld, APD

Buyer beware, thieves may be selling you stolen property and you might not even know it. Thieves are always looking for ways to fly under the radar when selling or getting rid of stolen property. Pawn shops use to be an innocent pawn... Now it's the Internet.

Amarillo Police Department Cpl. Jerry Neufeld says the Internet makes selling fore everyone too easy. "The Internet is such an easy means to communicate and get information out there you can touch a lot of people with out going to a pawn shop. Thousands of people," Cpl. Neufeld said.

For that reason attorneys and investigators find it difficult to pursue property thefts. Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley says the county handles an average of 1,500 property cases a year. Those cases are not getting easier to solve, "It's a more difficult, a challenge for investigators dealing with stolen goods over the Internet. The first challenge is figuring out were they are. Also, who they are," Brumley said.

Unknowingly, thousands of people are purchasing stolen property, contributing to the sale of stolen goods.

"Theft is theft. Regardless how you commit the offense and accomplish your end result, which is depriving the owner of their property, Brumley said.

Police say there are ways to protect yourself. For buyers know your seller and property owners know your numbers. They encourage people to engrave serial numbers or drivers license number on property they deem valuable. "The serial number is extremely important with out that serial number we can have 15 TVs around if that number does not know who that matches to that one.then we don't know who it belongs to, Cpl. Neufeld said.

There is a free online database that allows people to record their serial numbers, report it if an item is stolen and claim it. NewsChannel 10 has provided that link if you are interested in monitoring your property.