CRESTVIEW — March 6 is the deadline to claim property that Crestview police obtained during investigations.
A list of items that the Crestview Police Department collected in closed burglary cases appears on its website, crestviewpd.org.
"A lot of times, we have all of this evidence and no property owner to connect it to," Lt. Andrew Schneider, the department’s public information officer, said. "Every year ... this stuff is up for destruction or release."
The department works with other law enforcement agencies to ensure stolen items are returned to their owners, he said. Often, that’s no easy task; crimes can go unreported and property owners may be unaware their items were stolen.
"Sometimes, they will have a GPS and think that their son or daughter took it out or their friend borrowed it, so they don't do anything about it," Schneider said.
The list contains electronic items including smart phones and computers — all of which have serial numbers that could lead to the owner.
That’s why planning before a theft helps.
"(People) need to write down the serial number before it (the item) gets taken from them, or at least maintain copies of receipts," Schneider said.
Officers have other ways to link items with their owners; for instance, a GPS’s home address directly leads the owner.
Additionally, owners can visit the police station and describe their missing items.
“If the description of the property is close enough to match the property, it is then turned over to them," Schneider said.
Unclaimed property is destroyed or allocated for department use, Schneider said.
"It is extremely rare that any of that stuff gets used for the department," he said.
See the Crestview Police department website, crestviewpd.org, to view a list of unclaimed seized property. Call 682-3603, extension 115, to make a claim. The police department is at 201 Stillwell Blvd.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.