STOLEN goods could become ‘too hot to handle’, if people go online to help defeat burglars and thieves.
Sussex Police has urged residents to ‘join the battle against burglars’ by logging their valuables on a national website.
A spokeswoman said: “Immobilise is the world’s largest property register and allows police and the public to work together to make stolen items too hot to handle.
“Residents can enter the details of their possessions on the free website and report when they have been stolen.
“Police officers not just in Sussex but around the UK can then check the details of items that they find or seize against the database.
“By confirming that the seized items had been stolen, officers can then look to prosecute whoever they were seized from for burglary or handling stolen goods – and can return the valuables to their rightful owners.”
Sussex’s force said it hoped to use the Immobilise website in conjuction with Operation Magpie – it’s bid to tackle burglary across the county.
Detective chief inspector Paul Betts said: “When our officers respond to reports of burglary, they often cannot get enough detailed information about the items which have been stolen – without old boxes for electrical items or photographs of jewellery for example it can be very difficult to accurately identify what has been taken.
“Better information greatly increases the chances of us being able to reunite stolen property with its rightful owner, helps us to get a better picture of which burglaries could be linked and gives us the evidence we need to prove that property is stolen.
“That helps us to link items to burglars and those trading in stolen goods and means we can get offenders off the streets and into the courts.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex police and crime commissioner, backed the campaign.
“I’d like to see as many residents as possible playing their part in helping to beat burglary in Sussex,” she said.
“It’s simple – and it’s free – to register your personal items on the website and I hope people will do so. As well as making it easier for the police to track down registered owners, it can also act as a deterrent as it makes it harder for thieves to sell items on because they can be identified.”
The police’s spokeswoman added: “25 million people use Immobilise and every week hundreds of people are reunited with their lost or stolen property because of the site.
“As well as registering mobile phones and electrical items with serial numbers, residents can also register other items by uploading photographs and giving a description.
“They can also use the website to instantly access a list of all their property and to print off certificates of ownership if they need to make a claim to their insurance company.
“You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com.”