Safeguard big holiday purchases with serial numbers

(WIAT) — As people head to their local stores for holiday electronics, there is one piece of advice that you may have already heard from law enforcement: take photos and write down serial numbers of all your valuable purchases.

This tip can be a piece of advice not everyone takes.

“Unfortunately, more often than not, they don’t, but again, we do have cases where people have been very diligent and do have the safeguard of the serial numbers in a safe place, so those are the cases that have a greater probability of being solved,” said Lt. Brian Gilham with the Vestavia Hills Police Department.

However, not having that information can come at a price. Law enforcement officials say it is much easier to track down stolen merchandise if you have the serial numbers on hand.

“You can take pictures with your phone, take a rainy day at home and note all your valuables and turn it over, not only to, put it in a safe place and turn it into your insurance company as well,” Gilham said.

In addition, not having documentation of your electronics, jewelry, and other valuables could make it harder to recoup the value of your stolen merchandise from your insurance provider.

“A lot of them require that information,” Gilham said.

Gilham said the crime rate in Central Alabama generally rises over the holiday season, but home burglaries have remained consistent over the last couple of months.

“You just need to pay attention to your surroundings and take steps to protect yourself,” said Gilham.

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