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Operation Inventory

What is Operation Inventory?

Operation Inventory is a citizen's property recovery program.  It promotes recording information about your belongings to aid law enforcement in recovery should it ever be stolen.

What Can I Do?

Your part is easy and simple, all you have to do is record descriptions of your property on the Operation Inventory Log Sheet and keep it in a safe place.  If your property is stolen, you will be able to provide the information about the items taken to law enforcement.  For any items that do not have serial numbers such as jewelry, you should take photographs and store them with the inventory log sheet.

What Does Law Enforcement Do?

Information about stolen property is entered into a national computer database known as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e.- criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons).  It is available to Federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  When an item is found, it can be checked for stolen with items listed in the NCIC database.

Another valuable avenue of recovery is with pawn shops.  The Florida Pawnbroking Act compels pawnbrokers to provide law enforcement information about items pawned including serial numbers.  They are also required to obtain government-issued photographic identification of individuals who pawn property and provide that information to law enforcement along with the items pawned.

Items reported pawned to law enforcement by pawnbrokers are routinely checked against items reported stolen in the NCIC database.

Property Inventory Example Sheet
This is an example of the Operation Inventory Log Sheet that you can download.
(approximate file size is 364KB)

Download your Operation Inventory Pamphlet

Just the Facts

  • Myth:  Most people record their property's information and provide it to the police once it is stolen.

  • Fact:  The Tampa Police Department conducted a nine-month survey of stolen property.  Out of 18,737 articles stolen only 719 of the articles where reported stolen with serial numbers.  This equaled less than 4% of stolen property with reported information.

  • Myth:  All serial numbers are unique and belong to only the item it is attached to.

  • Fact:  The same serial number can be used on two different models of the same type of item.  Serial numbers are sometimes repeated in other models of the same type of product by the same manufacturer.  Its important to list the make, model & serial number of items.

  • Myth:  Stolen property has to have a serial number before the police can recover it.

Fact:  Several items that are stolen do not have serial numbers.  Police are able to identify stolen property by just a description.  Special markings or other identifying traits are helpful too.