A Des Moines-based startup company has created a modern-day lost and found that can save money while helping law enforcement.
MyPropertyIDRegistry.com modernizes operation identification—a citizen’s burglary prevention program that has existed for over 30 years—which allows law enforcement to detect, identify and return stolen property to its rightful owner.
It’s something Jon Shelness—founder of MyPropertyIDRegistry.com—first learned about a year ago from a friend in his local Southwestern Hills Neighborhood Association.
Shelness was trying to upgrade their neighborhood watch signs when he saw a sign for operation identification.
“So I did some research and realized that nobody has really migrated this to the web,” Shelness said. “This is a tool that will help people, I’m just making it easy and online.”
How it works
When a customer signs up at MyPropertyIDRegistry.com, they are charged a one time fee of $29.95 for ten asset tags, stickers and decals. The stickers and decals are to be placed around the house and the asset tags go on cell phones, laptops, passports and anything of value.
“So you are supposed to get into the habit of when you bring something new into the house, put a sticker on, enter the serial number into the database and that’s it,” Shelness says. “You are now marked and registered.”
Each tag provides a good Samaritan with an avenue to return an item they found back to its rightful owner by going to MyPropertyIDRegistry.com/found. And for law enforcement, it gives them an opportunity to potentially catch a bad guy.
Sgt. Adam Porath of the West Des Moines Police Department said they find having a serial number of specific ID number helps assist police departments in the recovery of items for a variety of cases.
He says he has a list in a lockbox of all his valuable items and a description to include make, model, serial number, value and when they were purchased.
“We encourage people to find their MEID (mobile equipment identifier) number on cell phones, serial number of high dollar electronic items, appliances, lawn mowers and weapons,” Porath said. “If this is stored somewhere secure, on the off-chance that an item does get stolen, it assists us if we would find it later.”
Porath said they would also put that serial number and description of the item into a national database that can be accessed by any law enforcement personnel if it were stolen.
“It is like having a VIN number on a car to identify it.”
It’s like the seatbelt…
Shelness says MyPropertyIDRegistry.com shouldn’t replace an existing home security system, but be an addition to it.
“People put up the “we support the police signs” or blue tape, but if you really want to help the police, make solving burglaries easier,” Shelness says. “Because they can’t do it without you.”
He uses the analogy of the seatbelt when describing his product.
“It’s not high-tech and they say the guy who invented that saved a million lives,” Shelness says. “So I’m trying to be the guy who is trying to save a billion dollars.”