Web site allows public to check if property is stolen
Houston County Courier - November 2007
The Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA) has partnered with a company that will provide a website where members of the general public can register an inventory of their valuable property, report property that has been stolen or check whether an item they are attempting to buy has been reported as stolen.
Trace.com, a subsidiary of MyThings Inc., is collaborating with the TPCA, the Texas Department of Public Safety and more than 500 local Texas police departments and sheriff's offices to make Texas stolen property files freely available to the general public at http://www.trace.com/.
Already partnered with more than half the police forces in the United Kingdom and a number of international law enforcement organizations, Trace's Texas project is its first law enforcement partnership in the United States.
The Trace online database includes all identifiable property reported stolen to the FBI by hundreds of Texas police agencies. Texans can access the Trace database, free of charge, to:
* Research items before purchasing them to determine whether or not they are stolen,
* Report recently stolen property to law enforcement, and
* Create a secure, anonymous inventory of their valuable property that could aid in recovering the property if it is ever stolen.
"Trace offers Texans a new method to fight theft-related crime," said Chief Melvin Martin of the Abilene Police Department and president of the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
"Having a single database of stolen items that all Texans - from recent crime victims, to eBay customers, to antique dealers and pawnbrokers - can access will help us identify and return stolen property. The holiday shopping season is beginning.
"Robberies and crimes often increase at that time. We are asking the public to help us fight crime by visiting Trace.com."
Founded and based in Europe, Trace chose Texas for its initial U.S. launch because of the state's large number of property crimes and strong tradition of law enforcement.
"We are honored to partner with Texas law enforcement," said Ken Bouche, vice president of Trace.
"There were nearly 1 million property crimes in Texas last year. Trace.com was created to reclaim stolen property, and Trace is committed to helping Texans enjoy and take care of their belongings and get them back when they are stolen, as well as to prevent future criminal activity."