Soon the kids will be home from school and our calorie intake will double. Hopefully you’re doing all of your Christmas shopping online and avoiding the crowded San Antonio malls. The experts are predicting a steady cold wet winter which translates into an increase of traffic accidents.
If you’re like many of us, you’re going to find yourself spending your cold wintery evenings at home watching Ralphie try to shoot his eye out on the Christmas Story. On those nights when everyone is at home and the young ones are saying they’re bored (aren’t they always), that would be an ideal time to start documenting serial numbers on all of your valuables.
Property crimes increase during the holiday season. If you are a victim of a theft or a burglary, the police are going to ask you for serial numbers for any of your missing valuables. Televisions sets, computers, video game consoles all have a factory assigned serial number. Firearms have serial numbers. You would be surprised what has a serial number. We recently recovered a stolen push lawn mower from a San Antonio pawn shop that never would have been recovered had the owner not taken the time to document the serial number. Your cell phone has a serial number.
Boyd Grimshaw had a 30-30 rifle stolen from him several years ago and it too, was recovered in a pawn shop on the San Antonio’s west side. Only because he took the time to document the serial number. Most of the serial numbers on these items are too small for old eyes like mine. But, when you have a house full of fresh young eyes over for the holidays, enlist them into helping you with the documentation of your hard earned valuables. I suggest you take a thumb drive, flash drive, or whatever they are being called this week and store all of the information collected, to include pictures, in a safe place (off-site is better). This could be a newly formed tradition for your family that you could do every year at this time.
Most of the law enforcement agencies in our county are members of a national pawn shop data base that records everything pawned; everything. Our investigators can access the site with your serial number and see if it has been pawned and where and by whom. Something to remember, if someone approaches you on the street trying to sell you some property that you remotely believe that it might be stolen, don’t buy it. Nothing good will come from it. If we find out, the property will be seized and you won’t get your money back and you could be arrested for possession of stolen property. No one wants to spend their holiday incarcerated.
On behalf of every law enforcement agency in Atascosa County we want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.
RONALD SANCHEZ is the Chief of the Pleasanton Police Department.