Last year, our house was burglarized sometime in the wee hours of Sunday, November 12 (2006). Burglar(s) came in through our front door and went straight into the office, which is very close to the front door. They grabbed electronics that were in plain sight and easy to take.
In early November 2007, just a few weeks ago, the Seattle police sent me a letter saying that one of the items I had reported as missing was recently recovered. It was my iPod. I was stunned to get this letter. A detective in Des Moines, WA was alerted through their "Leads Online" system that the serial number of my item showed up in the inventory of a local pawn shop. Pawn shops apparently regularly upload such data, as requested by the police. Since I was able to provide the serial # in our initial police report, they could link that iPod back to me even though the pawn shop is outside of Seattle's city limits.
The Des Moines cop contacted the Seattle cop on our case and eventually sent my item to the Property Clerk for me to pick up. (A few days after the first letter, a second letter directly from the Des Moines police department also showed up with similar info. Very nice follow through on all counts.)
So, I guess this post is to say three things:
1 - I was really glad that I had made a note of that serial number. iPods and all of our other small electronics are quite mobile, in good and bad ways.
2 - Always fill out a police report.
3 - We have not been burglarized this year, and I am thankful for that. It's something that I do not take for granted.
As an aside and also quite stunning: the iPod still works. What's more is that it has my original data and no one else's new data. Someone stole my iPod, eventually pawned it in October 2007 - 12 months after the burglary! - and never bothered to add new stuff or to delete my stuff. Are my playlists that rock solid?