Unique website aims to reunite stolen or lost items with rightful owner

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RENTON — A property crime happens every 3.5 seconds in this country, according to the FBI.

No neighborhood is immune. But did you know, the vast majority of stolen items are recovered?
But the owners still don’t get them back.

The reason is simple.

Most of us don’t take the time to look for serial numbers but a unique website is hoping to change that.

In just seconds a thief ripped a stereo out of a car in downtown Renton.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you and when it does it’s too late,” victim David Waiss said.

Waiss regrets not logging his stereo's serial number.

“My stuff is probably recovered somewhere but they is no way to tie it to me,” Waiss said.

Police stations across the country are overwhelmed with recovered stolen items.

“I think people would be astounded, I would say 95% of the found items are not returned to the owners,” Renton police officer Shawn Tierney said.

It frustrates Tierney, so he's come up with a solution called Trackmole.

It’s a unique website that stores serial numbers, allowing cops, even everyday people, to return property to its rightful owner.

“It’s used for any item that's lost or stolen or accidentally left behind,” Tierney said

Anyone can store their serial numbers by registering a name and email.

If someone finds your lost or stolen property, you get an alert.

“It’s that quick,” Tierney said.

Law enforcement across Washington, even as far as Kentucky, are using Trackmole.

With dozens of electronics left behind each month at Sea-Tac Airport, law enforcement just started using it.

Tierney is determined to turn Trackmole into a household name. It's a service Waiss wishes he had known about before.

“It would help a lot of people and save a lot of money,” Waiss said.

Police say most of the recovered items end up being sold, donated or destroyed.

Click here for the Trackmole site.

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