How to File a Police Report

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If you’ve experienced the terrible feeling of someone else helping themselves to your goods, man, I’m sorry. I’ve been there and I know how terribly violating that feels.  The first thing you need to do is file a police report.  The more information you have, the better.

This was my original police report

When my tools were stolen, I didn’t have good records, I was poor at organizing receipts and writing down serial numbers, but I was able to collect enough information that eventually helped me recover more than half of my stolen goods. And the best part? The police were able to charge the perp.

First, make a list of what is stolen, look at your space and try to remember everything that has vacated your possession.  I’m sure you know the brand, but the model numbers are very important too.  As soon as I had my list compiled, I went back to my office and jumped on the internet and started googling each tool to find the right image that matched my missing tools.  I took screenshots of the missing tools, then created a word doc with the images and a brief description of each one. I couldn’t find any receipts and only a couple of serial numbers, but even so, I had a pretty solid description of what I lost.

At least I had brands, images and descriptions.

Now, there is a much better and faster way to do this.

      Even though I had very few serial numbers, this allowed me to convey the tools that were missing, and after I filed a police report, I used this list to go pawn shop to pawn shop. At the very last pawn shop, I showed the manager my list and almost instantly he pointed to 5 tools and said, “I’ve got this one, this, this, this and this.” He was able to recognize the combination of tools and he was willing to help me recover my lost goods. It was insane. Just by looking at the photos, he instantly knew he had some of my tools. At that point, a lightbulb went off in my head and I realized that most builders are just like me, and they don’t have a good way to keep good records. But, that’s an entirely different story.

Having my tools robbed taught me the value and importance of keeping good records.  If you think about it, thieves are actually smarter than most builders because they know the vast number of us either don’t have the information available to catch them, or we don’t know how to compile the right information to help police apprehend the perp.

More than just losing my tools, I lost time from work, more money replacing the things I couldn’t find, and dealt with way more stress and angst than necessary. All because I was ill-prepared and barely smart enough to out-smart the bad guys.

From now on, when I buy tools, I use a free program called PowerTool SafeTM. You can find it here. PowerTool SafeTM helps you create all the records you need just by taking photos of your tools. It’s a pretty ingenious way to create records with photos by documenting the brand, model and serial numbers, and its super-fast and easy to use. How do I know? This has been my journey. I created PowerTool SafeTM so that you don’t have to go through the same thing I did.

The cool thing about PowerTool SafeTM is that it’s a true database to help law enforcement and pawn shops locate the owners of stolen goods. It has the ability to create theft incidents better than the one I made, share it with law enforcement, and instantly search Craigslist and Ebay for any of my tools that are stolen. They even have stickers for your work trucks and job trailers that are like putting an ADT sign in your front yard.

When your information is in this database, you can actually receive instant email updates if a police officer or pawn shop searches your tools.

Eeryone is affected by theft. Retailers, Builders, Police Officers, Pawn Shops and even Insurance Companies. PowerTool SafeTM is a better way to everyone share tool information easier so we can all work together to fight theft.

Thieves prefer the path of least resistance. It’s not hard to remove yourself from that path.

What do YOU have to lose? GET STARTED NOW
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