The Santa Maria (Calif.) Police Department is encouraging its residents to use the free online ReportIt system to help investigators locate and identify personal property when a theft occurs.

The ReportIt system allows people to record serial numbers and upload images for phones, electronics, and other valuables into an online portal. 

"I believe this is a valuable resource that can greatly aid investigators in the recovery of stolen property," according to Santa Maria Police Chief Danny Macagni.

The ReportIt service is connected with LeadsOnline, the online system that works with police across the country to track and recover stolen property. The Santa Maria PD uses LeadsOnline to help track and recover stolen property such as jewelry, sporting equipment, electronics, computers, cameras, designer clothing, collectibles, and other items.

The system allows detectives to search for the items using a variety of parameters, including item descriptions and serial numbers. When an item is sold to a pawn or secondhand shop, the product information is entered into the LeadsOnline database and is immediately viewable by participating law enforcement agencies across the country.

Santa Maria PD has used LeadsOnline for since 2006 and has recovered stolen property includeing jewelry, cameras, construction equipment, iPods, tools, computers and GPS units.

Citizens can store an unlimited number of serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures, and scans of receipts so items may be more easily identified in the event of theft. The single record generated by the system can come in handy when filing claims with insurance providers in the event of loss.

Citizens wanting to participate can register for the free service at the ReportIt website and begin building their personal property inventory list.

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