RECOVERED ITEMS PILE UP DUE TO LACK OF PROOF FROM OWNERS
It can happen in an instant—your items are lost or stolen, and then never seen again."It happens quite often, unfortunately,” said L.t. Len Johnson of the Eureka Police Department.But some of the time, the items can’t be returned even after they’ve been recovered.“It usually is because we can't match the item up with the victim," Johnson said.Johnson says it’s best to write down the serial number, or remember specific details, like scratches. "As long as you can describe the item enough in detail to where we can match it up to you, then were able to return it," Johnson said.Another suggestion is to take pictures of your valuables. That way if something is lost or stolen, it can be referred back to in the picture, and also offers proof if the item is recovered. A lot of it’s not returned, because there’s not enough proof to match it to an owner."We get a lot of bicycles, there maybe laptops, computers, jewelry," Johnson said.And with the holiday season, people should be especially cautious with leaving presents in cars and in plain view."Well with the holidays there's a lot of gift giving, a lot of shopping, a lot of items with high value that are purchased," said L.t. Matthew Eberhardt of the Fortuna Police Department.Eberhardt says if an item is recovered, it’s put in an envelope, filled out with the details, and logged on the computer. It either stays at the police department or an off-site location depending on the size of the item. From there, it may be disposed, held, or for the lucky few, returned. "With the holidays and the gifts, we do recommend that you take the time, write down the serial numbers, take pictures,” Eberhardt said. “So that if they are taken, we can get them back to you."