Gun theft prompts police plea

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 20, 2007

COURTLAND—With 13 guns on the streets following a recent burglary on Unity Road — and no way to track them reliably — police are reminding residents of the importance of recording the serial numbers of their guns and other valuables.

&uot;I’m not looking for a database, and I wouldn’t have time to keep up with it anyway,&uot; said Detective Cpl. Richard Morris. &uot;But people ought to be able to tell us what they had that was stolen.&uot;

Morris, who is a spokesman for the Southampton Sheriff’s Office was frustrated over the lack of identifying information available for weapons stolen from a home last week in the northern part of the county.

Although they know the types of guns that were stolen, Morris said, it would be impossible to know if those specific weapons are ever recovered, especially in the case of the more common types of guns.

Taking the simple step of recording the serial numbers of all guns, electronics and other valuables could go a long way toward helping with the recovery of those items if they are stolen, Morris said. And many homeowners’ policies require such precise identification before the companies will provide reimbursement.

Another step that Morris recommends for homeowners is that they take digital photos of their valuables as a step toward creating an inventory of such items in the home.

A copy of that inventory, along with the serial numbers and photos that comprise it, should be kept in a location other than the home. That way, if a fire consumes the valuables, it will not destroy the list that could act as proof of their existence.

Anyone with information about the Unity burglary is asked to call the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office at 653-2100 or Southampton County CrimeSolvers at 653-2900.

A reward of up to $1,000 is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those persons responsible. CrimeSolvers callers can remain anonymous and do not have to appear in court.