Stolen items being recovered, not always returned

Shopping, shopping, shopping.

It's on everyone's mind this time of the year, but police warn customers to do something before storing any Christmas presents in your home.

Little Rock police tells us as it experiences a rise in home burglaries this time of the year, it has another problem on its hands: returning found items to their owners.

In a couple of days from now several big box items will be making their way from store shelves to your home.

However, if a criminal takes something from you will you know how to get it back?

"Typically what victims don't have are serial numbers. Serial numbers are the biggest thing," said detective Jarrod Purifoy.

"Sony makes a thousand TVs a day so therefore we need the serial number to verify that belong to the actual victim."

It's even as easy as snapping a picture with your cell phone of the numbers or making your own mark.

"You can even etch in the last four of your social so only you would know that belongs to you, and where that is etched in at if it's some sort of electronic device," Purifoy added.

We took a peak into LRPD's storage room full of many unclaimed stolen items. Police say fewer criminals are taking stolen items to pawn shops where they used to be easier to recover, and return to owners.

"Typically there may be houses on the street that they're using as fences to take these stolen items to," Purifoy continued. "Once that happens it's pretty much in the wind, unless the victim has their serial number."

Authorities advise even if you intend to give the item to someone else be sure and keep that receipt to show proof of purchase; some items even have the serial number written on the outside.