Authorities struggle to reunite stolen goods with rightful - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Authorities struggle to reunite stolen goods with rightful owners

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Authorities are having some difficulties linking recovered stolen property back to the rightful owners.

Tuesday's DPS raid recovered about $500,000 of property, most believed to be stolen.

Smith and Henderson county said they have linked some of the property found in a Tyler warehouse to several active theft cases. But, authorities said matching the stolen items with their rightful owners has not been so easy.

"Some of the property may never be returned to it's rightful owner because we can't link it to a victim," said Smith County Lt. Tony Dana.

The property Smith County officials said they have been able to link to theft reports
was linked because the owners were smart.. recording serial numbers and special markings.

"It's important to stop, take a minute, inventory the items in your home -- of course electronics and those types of things---that are highly sought after," said Tyler Police Officer James McCraw.

"When you're talking about an item such a Dewalt Drill.. the question is how many Dewalt drills were manufactured in the United States last year?," said Lt. Dana.

Or in the case of Tuesday's raid, how many Sanyo flat screen TVs?

It's hard to identify that item without a serial number belongs to a particular individual," said Dana.

And while it's not impossible, officials said it is better to be proactive and use things like an engraver.

"We can check it out to you here at the police department. With this you simply put "TX" for Texas and "DL" for drivers license and the numbers and it simply puts those numbers on plastic or metal," Officer McCraw said.

Officer McCraw said engraving your valuables can also deter thieves from ever stealing them in the first place since the items can easily be traced back to you.

Unlike a lot of the stolen property that was found in the DPS raid Tuesday.

To see the items recovered in the raid click HERE.

There you'll find a photo slide show of things investigators have recovered.
If you see anything you believe may be yours, contact the agency to which you reported it stolen.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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