Allen Rowe: Taking steps to protect your valuables
November 23, 2014
We live in a smaller town where we feel safe and do not always see the need for extra security, but lately we have seen a rise in burglaries.
With this in mind, here are some steps you can take to safeguard your valuables.
First, silly as it sounds, lock your doors. When we feel safe some tend to get lax about this most simple task. We all like to think we are secure, but it's that idea which thieves take advantage of.
Alarm and or camera systems are a further step. The cost of these systems are often the downside, but there are options that are affordable to most. Of course, the better the system the more security it provides. If you are going to install a system, make sure you get familiar with it and know its quirks and operational components. This is important as many of the false alarms do not require the sheriff's office's attention. False alarms are part of owning a system and knowing how your system works can prevent the need for calling in deputies.
Safes are another option. Smaller safes can be carried off as easily as you can move them in, so if you have a smaller safe make sure to bolt it down. Larger safes can prevent most carry offs, but moving a 3,000-pound safe is not a task to take lightly. Hiring a professional is strongly suggested for the safety of all involved. The real down fall to a safe is if a thief knows there's a safe it may be an enticement to get into it.
The only way to do so is with lots of time and tools, or forcing the issue and violently confronting the owner. My thought has always been if you have that much value it's better to store it somewhere else away form loved ones.
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If you are burglarized, knowing what you have is a huge tool in trying to recover stolen items. Often when people have an incident they have a hard time conveying what was taken. Many items have no unique properties to identify (every 18-inch 4mm rope chain looks the same), but most often there are some that can easily stand out. If there are inscriptions note them and if a piece is custom try and have a photo of it. Coins can all be alike, but if you have rare or uniquely characterized coins listing those is important. Comprising a "hit" list of only the most unique and unusual items can help you in trying to recover them.
If you are a victim you can be proactive. Comprising a list of these unique items and getting it to the legitimate businesses in town can be a huge help. Make sure to include your case number on your list. Often stolen items are sold within hours or days of when they were taken. By providing a list yourself, shop owners can be on the look out.
We have a wonderful sheriff's office here, but we also have to remember if you have a case it's not the only one it has to work on. Providing a list to pawn/buy shops is a help to the Sheriffs. Most shop owners are cordial and willing to help. Remember, we live here, too. This can help the shop owners, too. It prevents them from buying the items first place and being out the cost as well. If shop owners buy stolen items they can receive restitution, but being able to get the thieves caught first is much easier. Of course, many of the thieves know the legitimate businesses in town are helpful to the law and keep records that will get them caught and convicted if selling to one of these businesses. Therefore, the thieves often try to find places to fence at that do not take ID or keep records making it impossible for the Sheriffs to track down.
Taking a few simple steps can help prevent an incident and being proactive can help if one occurs. Most of the shop owners are vested in the community and are willing and eager to help in getting the criminals caught. We are all part of this great community and working together can help in making it the safer and better place to live. Catching a thief is is just as important to us as it is to you.
Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.