The Killeen Police Department and the Bell County Crime Stoppers were outside Walmart on Tuesday to help residents catalog newly bought items and prevent theft.
The department restructured one of its vehicles to make a “mobile education center” for the ReportIt Program, said Carroll Smith, spokeswoman for KPD.
The vehicle is equipped with a screen that scrolls the area’s most wanted criminals.
“Now we can bring it out to the citizens, so we can help them help themselves,” Smith said.
ReportIt is an online database that allows people to catalog their valuable possessions by serial number, receipts and digital photographs, stated a news release from the department.
By using the traveling unit, officers can educate people about the benefits of using
ReportIt and also help them log their items.
A lot of times, people do not know the serial numbers to stolen items, and without them it is hard to determine to whom the items belong, Smith said.
The department uses a national database of stolen items called LeadsOnline, which allows police to search for stolen items registered by vendors, such as pawn shops.
Killeen has used LeadsOnline since July 2004 and recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property for Killeen residents, stated the release.
Registering their items with ReportIt ensures people are cataloging those products, so they can then be searched in LeadOnline or used for insurance purposes, Smith said.
Finding the items in LeadsOnline often leads to an arrest, which can prevent further incidents, she said.
“When we find these items, it helps us track down the bad guys,” Smith said. “The more bad guys we get, the more people we help.”
Smith said the vehicle will visit businesses year-round to educate people about the program.
ReportIt is a very easy online tool to use, Smith said, and now this vehicle is a crime prevention tool.
“It only takes 5 minutes to start an account,” Smith said. “Nobody, and I mean nobody, can get into it but you — not even the police.”