According to figures compiled by the FBI, property crimes in the U.S. in 2015 resulted in losses estimated at $14 billion, with the total value of reported stolen property (such as currency, jewelry, firearms, electronics, motor vehicles, etc.) amounting to over $12.4 billion. Even worse, only a fraction of stolen property is ever recovered. There are many reasons for such a low recovery rate, chief among them is that local police departments and other law enforcement agencies simply do not have the time or resources to devote to finding and returning everyone’s stolen property.
If you’ve been the victim of a stolen property crime and are determined to get your belongings back, or if you believe you may have unknowingly received stolen goods, you should consider starting a stolen property investigation with Trustify. Investigators in the Trustify network have handled hundreds of cases relating to stolen property and are both highly skilled and highly experienced in locating stolen property of all types.
What is a Stolen Property Investigation?
There are two equally important components to every stolen property case:
- Identifying and locating the stolen property
- Identifying the person or persons who stole the property and helping law enforcement bring them to justice
There are many types of stolen property crimes that lead their victims to seeking the help of a private investigator, including robbery, burglary, larceny, theft, vandalism, embezzlement, and extortion.
Who Initiates a Stolen Property Investigation?
Insurance companies sometimes hire independent private investigators to locate stolen property, but in the vast majority of cases, it’s the owner of the property that initiates the investigation.
Clients initiate stolen property investigations for any number of reasons. In some cases, the stolen property is uninsured, or making a claim is expensive or inconvenient. In other cases, the stolen property may simply hold personal or sentimental value to the owner making it irreplaceable. Regardless of how or why property is stolen, often the best chance of recovery is by hiring a private investigator for a stolen property investigation.
Starting a Stolen Property Investigation
Hiring a private investigator to investigate stolen property with Trustify is fast and simple. Every case is assigned a dedicated investigator and Case Manager to assist you in every step of the way. Here’s how a stolen property investigation works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide a cost estimate for your case.
2. Consult With a Private Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case. You should be prepared to answer questions like:
- Where was the property last located?
- Who had access to the premises from which the property was taken?
- Has the crime been reported to the police? Was there a report filed and is there an ongoing law enforcement investigation?
- Was the property insured, and has the insurance company been notified?
3. Investigation in Progress: How a particular stolen property investigation proceeds depends primarily on the type and value of the property involved, and how it was taken. Techniques and methods that your private investigator might use include:
- Accessing specialized databases
- Researching and tracking the sale of stolen goods online
- Contacting sources in the criminal world regarding the possible fencing or sale of the property
- Contacting legitimate businesses, such as pawn shops and antique stores, for leads
- Conducting physical searches and surveillance
4. Case Updates and Final Report: Clients can expect updates throughout all stages of the investigation and a full report detailing the investigation and results. The report can be useful for the client to seek the help of local law enforcement and gain possession of the stolen property or bring charges to those involved. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify on your behalf in court, if necessary and agreed-upon before the start of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Private investigators in the Trustify network will never knowingly violate the law while conducting a stolen property investigation. For example, investigators will not enter private property without the express consent of the property owner or legal authorities. Trustify agents will, if agreed-upon during the initial consultation, seek the assistance of local law enforcement to secure possession of stolen items.