PD: Most Stolen Property Not Returned

BYLINE: Cara Liu, Reporter, KPHO.com
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Phoenix, AZ

PHOENIX -- Nearly a quarter of a million items get cataloged into the Phoenix Police Department’s property room each year.

A lot of it is evidence for ongoing cases, but a lot of it is stolen property that police are unable to return to its rightful owner.

Many of items are expensive -- golf clubs, guitars, bicycles, plasma TVs, tools, computers and jewelry.

"Maybe 75 percent of these items we're unable to return to somebody -- so in the end, the city is turning around and auctioning these items off," said Sgt. Trent Crump, Phoenix police spokesperson.

Detectives do research on the found property by running serial numbers and combing through police reports, but said it’s often difficult to return found items because very few people take the time to document their valuables.

Police said those who keep track of serial numbers on electronics and appliances, photograph their jewelry, and mark their property stand a much better chance of getting those valuable items returned if they are ever stolen.

Items that cannot be returned are sold at police auctions, and proceeds go to the city’s general fund.

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