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Police urge serial number recording of Christmas presents

"Don't let burglars win" - Police urge serial number recording of Christmas presents and Boxing Day sale valuables

As the summer holiday season draws to a close Police are urging people with new valuables following Christmas and the Boxing Day sales to make sure they record the serial numbers.

"It sounds very boring and yes it is one of those chores that often gets relegated to the 'too hard' basket, but it can be the difference between getting stolen property back and never seeing it again." says Allan Boreham, Assistant Police Commissioner for the Upper North.

Why bother?

Recording a serial number and being able to provide it to the Police in the unfortunate event of theft allows Police to record the item in the Police database as "stolen".

"Getting burgled is traumatic and upsetting, and the last thing you want to be thinking of is how to describe what your black TV or diamond engagement ring looks like to the Police. In the event that we find a room full of stolen TV's it can be very hard for us to be able to figure out exactly who that TV belongs to without any serial numbers. If we have those then it's far easier for us to establish that it's stolen - and prosecute the thieves" says AC Boreham.

Recording serial numbers recently paid off for a Hamilton woman. She was burgled in early January and her $3000.00 laptop was stolen. The woman was able to provide Police with the serial number. Three days later, Police carried out a search warrant on a property on an unrelated matter and found a laptop. The serial number was checked in the Police database and flagged up as "stolen". A man and a woman have both been charged with receiving stolen property and have appeared in court. The laptop has since been returned to the victim.

SNAP.org.nz is an online tool that provides people with the ability to privately record serial numbers. The site is supported and promoted by the Police, but is run by Datacom and secured using the NZ Government RealMe logon service.

Police have no access to any private details stored on the SNAP website, but in the event of a burglary or theft, the owner is able to login to the site, print their SNAP list, and pass it to the Police, who then record the details in their own database.

"It may take you an hour when you first load your assets and we'd all rather be doing something else, but the simple fact is it's worth it. Lots of people tell us that they didn't realise how many valuables they actually had until they went to do their SNAP list."

SNAP also allows you to store photographs of rare items and belongings that don't have serial numbers.

"Don't let the criminals win - help us to help you get your gear back, and put the thieves behind bars" says AC Boreham.


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