Tips for Recovering Lost or Stolen Items

What happens if stolen property is recovered?

It depends on the circumstances around your lost item. If the police find your missing car, laptop, or other valuables, they may keep it as evidence against the thief, or you could get it back. It depends on how you reported it stolen and who found it.

Where are stolen items sold?

Burglars and thieves usually steal valuables to turn a profit. Pawn shops are the most common places to recover stolen items. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are also common places to sell stolen goods.

Many thieves are smart enough to know not to sell in the area they stole items from. Use a resource like Stolen 911 to check national listings for your stolen items.

Is it illegal to buy stolen goods?

Yes, but only if you know that the goods are stolen. Possession of stolen goods is considered a misdemeanor or felony depending on the items and circumstances involved. 2

How do I get back stolen items recovered by the cops?

Again, it depends on the circumstances around the theft. If your stolen item was used to commit another crime, it might be held as evidence. For things like bikes, laptops, or smartphones, file a police report, and law enforcement will notify you if they find the item.

How do I find out if my stolen item has been recovered?

Unfortunately, recovering your stolen items is up to you. While filing a police report can help, it won’t guarantee the safe return of your valuables. Thankfully, sources like Stolen-Property connect you to online listings to help make your search easier.

How do I report something stolen from my car?

Start by taking pictures of any damage to your car and the contents inside. Share a list of missing items with the police for the police report.

Next, contact your insurance provider. Depending on your policy, they might be able to help with any damage. But unfortunately, there aren’t many policies that cover the contents of your car.

What is the likelihood my stolen items will be recovered?

Sadly, only about a quarter of stolen items are recovered. 3 That said, you should still file a police report. These reports can help get your property replaced, and they also ensure that the police can contact you if they find your items.


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