Finding more protection from tech thieves

MASON CITY, IA –  A string of thefts in Mason City is having police remind us to jot down important info for our high-end technology, just in case.

Mason City Police are coordinating with Mason City pawn shops, but they say it’s most important to make sure you record the serial numbers of your high-end electronics.

Those with Select One Pawn in Mason City say anytime electronics end up at pawn shops the numbers are recorded and can make it easier to track if they’re stolen.

“What we do is we put all the serial numbers and all the data in a database and it gets sent to the police and they look over that and from there they can come in and section out what is and what isn’t stolen. Then they can come pick it up,” said Tyler Fites, Owner of Select One Pawn.

“We recommend everybody write down their serial number. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but many times the registration process is almost automatic and electronic,” said Captain Michael McKelvey with the Mason City Police Department.

Tyler knows how important the serial numbers are and says it helps more than people think.

“It’s a lot harder for the person that’s doing it to get away with it for amount of time because there are serial numbers and when you pawn something or sell it, you have to get that entered into the system. So they are going to get caught, it’s just a matter of time,” said Fites.

Searches on websites like Craigslist can sometimes turn up lost or stolen goods but according to police, there are also high-tech ways to help protect or find your belongings.

“Use those electronic ways of password protecting, electronic backups, the applications to possibly track your stolen device and having them registered through the company are probably going to be your next steps should they be stolen or used without your permission or knowledge,” said McKelvey.

Captain Mckelvey also notes that while some people may find their stolen electronics being sold online or other places, the best course of action is to contact police and file a report. He says do not face theives yourself.

“I would not recommend confronting or trying to contact the person and get their item back. We’ve run into the same problems when they go into a pawn shop. Usually we want them to come to the police and let us be the intermediary,” said McKelvey.

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