Greenwood Police hit Web to track down stolen stuff
One young Greenwood girl and her family lost thousands of dollars in computer equipment and iPads this week when they say someone broke into their home in the middle of the day and took them.
It's the latest in a rash of burglaries in the community. Now, police are revealing a new tool to try to catch the criminals and recover the stolen items.
All of it's replaceable under their homeowners insurance, but what's not replaceable for the Laster family is the sense of security they once had.
"Look. It's just like your old one, except for the cover," said Bryn Laster's mom as she handed her seven-year-old a new iPad Friday.
Bryn can't wait to try out the new device.
"My old one used to have hearts and flowers on it," said Bryn.
That old iPad is gone, however, after Greenwood police said someone broke into the family's home this week in the Forest Park neighborhood and stole three iPads, three laptops, an iPod and two digital cameras.
"It's devastating. You feel violated that somebody's come and gone through your personal stuff," said Dane Laster.
The incident has probably been the most devastating to Bryn, though, who's legally blind and used her iPad daily.
"It's her whole world. I mean, she can hold the laptop right up to her eyes and see it and it has her cartoons and her shows on it and her games," explained Dane.
"iPads really mean a lot to our family," added Bryn.
The Lasters haven't been the only ones to lose valuables in home burglaries in Greenwood recently. Police said there have been five other home burglaries - right in broad daylight - in the past two weeks. Some of them have been in neighborhoods near the Lasters.
"Flat screen TVs, jewelry, and computers," explained Greenwood Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth.
One of the first places investigators will check for the stolen items is a website called Leads On Line. It's a national database of items sold to pawn shops and even items listed on eBay.
"We've solved a lot more cases and recovered a lot of property that we never would have recovered had it not been for this service," said Fillenwarth.
So far, though, none of those items have belonged to the Lasters.
"They got four- or five-thousand dollars worth of stuff. They probably sold it on the street for $150, $200," said Dane Laster, shaking his head.
Bryn Laster said she's just glad to have another iPad to keep her busy. She had a message for anyone thinking of trying to take her new one.
"Don't steal my iPad ever again!" she said.
Police said keeping good records can really help them track down stolen items. That means if you own something you hold dear, police advised taking a picture of it, writing down a serial number if the item has one, and even taking the time to write down a description, noting any specific markings the item may have.
Investigators say that can go along way - if you're burglarized - in getting your stuff back.