Serial Numbers: Tips & FAQ's
The Theft Library is a publicly searchable record of all stolen property which has been voluntarily submitted to our Library. In order to maintain accurate information, it is necessary to require that all Theft Reports contain a unique identification number such as a serial number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This is to ensure an accurate listing and to provide positive identification during searches.
A Serial Number is a unique number provided by the manufacturer of a product. Not all products are identified with a serial number. For example, automobiles are identified with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). For the purposes of the Theft Library, a serial number and a VIN are the same thing.
Some products may never have been given a serial number. Such merchandise may include food items, some software, small office supplies such as paper & pens, household consumables, CD's, picture frames, etc. These items cannot be reported to the Theft Library because they cannot be uniquely identified!
What about bar codes? Can they be used in place of a serial number? No! Bar Codes are are not unique. The numbers are only unique to that product, not to your item.
My property has already been stolen. Where can I find my serial number?
- Original box the item came in
- Owners manual. Did you write it down in the place provided?
- Did you send in the registration card and write the number on it? Contact the company. They may be able to help you.
Some items which can be uniquely identified, but not by a serial number, can also have a Theft Report. Identification numbers such as Microchip number for animals, or a personal engraving mark for other items can be used.
If you have an item which has a number unique to that particle item, then you can create a Theft Report. Please contact us, and we will add that infomation to our category listings.