Atmore Police warn of theft

Published 9:47 am Monday, July 7, 2008

By By Adrienne McKenzie
There are several types of thievery including identity theft and property theft, but any kind of theft means an individual is using something that is not theirs without the owner’s permission.
Atmore Police Department investigator Chuck Brooks gives tips on how to keep your personal property secure, as well as your identity.
Brooks said when you buy something that is made in bulk, such as a bicycle, do something to the bike to make it your own.
Brooks said if APD recovers a stolen bicycle with no identifying marks, there is no way to be sure who the bike belongs to.
Brooks also said that parents need to take responsibility in educating their children on how to put their property away properly.
The same practice of marking bicycles for identification applies to everything, according to Brooks.
Most lawn mowers along with other lawn care equipment and 4-wheelers come with a serial number or Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN).
Brooks said it is important to keep all the paperwork for these pieces of equipment in a secure area in the instance it is stolen. The equipment’s serial or VIN will be on the paperwork along with the make and model, which will assist investigators in locating the stolen property. The paperwork also allows investigators to release the property into the right hands.
If the item does not have a serial or VIN, it is important to mark it to identify it as yours.
Outside property is not the only thing that can be stolen, however.
Brooks said it is a good idea to take a photograph of your expensive belongings, such as jewelry, in the instance it is stolen. If there is a photograph, police will have a great visual of the property.
Identify theft is a major problem these days, Brooks said.
There are many ways to have an identity stolen, but theft of checkbooks is a major way according to Brooks.
Brooks said females should keep their purses secure, if they must carry one at all.
Brooks said if a female must carry a purse, make sure its small and the least amount of items is best.
Businesses must also protect their property.
Recently the We Care Economy Shop had difficulty with someone stealing from the donation bin at the store.
Thanks to surveillance, the Economy Shop theft was caught.
Patricia Quinley of Atmore was arrested as a result of surveillance of property at the We Care Economy Shop.
As far as business surveillance goes, Brooks said the most important thing is to monitor your customers for suspicious behavior and to have video equipment installed.
For homeowners with expensive pieces of property to be watched, put a lock on it. Lock your car, house and windows and keep important information in a safe.
If you feel you have been robbed of property or if you check your credit and there is suspicious activity, it is important to notify police immediately in order to get your life back on track.