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Website helps recover property

Knowing what you own is the difference between recovering and not recovering stolen property.

This is the motto behind “ReportIt,” a free property inventory system available for all residents with a Lincoln County address to use.

The Brookhaven Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office have been using the system for years, and they’ve already recovered stolen items and returned them back to Lincoln County residents, said Brookhaven Police Capt. Clint Earls.

“We’ve located items that have been missing for years,” Earls said. “In 2010, a stolen firearm was found in Phoenix, Arizona.”

The only requirement for residents is to list their valuable items — phones, cameras, guns, vehicles and other items — on the secured website. There are options to list the serial or vehicle identification number, description, date purchased, add comments and upload an image, he said.

Earls said an individual can list up to 100 items on an account without any charges.

If the registered items are stolen, residents can log on the website, print out the property information sheet from their secure account and report it to the police department, Earls said.

The police captain is then notified by email if the property’s serial number appears in the hands of another law enforcement officer or any pawn shops in the United States.

Earls receives information on where it’s located and has the option to either hold the items or check for variations, which happens if the last few serial numbers are the same.

“Then I have to confirm if it’s right,” Earls said. “I check the police reports to confirm if it is or not.”

The ReportIt system has been around since 2000. “We’ve already recovered several items that we wouldn’t have recovered if it wasn’t for this system,” Earls said.

It is protected by the National Crime Information Center and is completely secure for residents to use, he said.

The police department and sheriff’s office pays for a yearly subscription; City residents are covered under the police department subscription and county residents are covered by sheriff’s office.

“We can see the success of what other law enforcement agencies have had using the system,” Earls said. “If we have similar cases, then we can follow their lead in tracking some of the items. It’s a very valuable tool.”

Earls said he can explain the system to any civic organizations, small businesses or group of residents wanting to know more information.

“We’re trying to promote this to help people help us get their items back,” Earls said. “In order to help them, sometimes we need the information available and this [system] helps us obtain that information.”

To create an account through ReportIt, log in to reportit.leadsonline.com.

ReportIt is not a law enforcement website and does not automatically search for property that may have been lost or stolen.