State police say the best time to inventory property is before an incident

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GAYLORD — The Michigan State Police provides home inventory forms to help everyone catalog important information about their belongings.

The time to take inventory and write down details of items is before a crime or fire occurs, said Lt. Derrick Carroll, public information officer for the State Police’s Seventh District. , which covers Gaylord, Alpena, Cadillac and Houghton Lake.

“So many times we go to the scene (of a crime) and ask for information about the missing item, like a serial number, make and model. Being a victim of a crime is stressful enough , but now the stress is added trying to account for items that have been stolen,” Carroll said.

Carroll said possessions that should be included on a home checklist include appliances, computers and tools.

“All of this information helps us when we apprehend someone so we know what dollar amount to charge them and also helps determine restitution,” Carroll said.

In addition to the make, model and serial number, Carroll suggested noting the item’s purchase price, date acquired and, if possible, taking a photo as well.

“This will allow soldiers to quickly identify stolen items and compare them to items listed for sale on public websites or when they have identified a suspect. The list should be kept in a locked, fireproof container. This way , it can also be used in the event there is a fire in the residence and the landlord needs it for insurance purposes,” added Carroll.

“If you have an outhouse or a garage full of expensive power tools, you’ll want to keep a list of those items that includes the make, model, and serial number,” Carroll said.

Lawn mowers and equipment should be included on the checklist along with snow removal and other outdoor equipment.

“Oftentimes criminals post these items on Craigslist or other websites. We can easily identify the items if we have the make, model and serial number,” he said.

In the event of a fire, an insurance company will likely also request this information, Carroll said, and the checklist “will help make the situation less stressful if the information is readily available.”

Carroll said jewelry and rings are usually covered by a separate endorsement or provision in an insurance policy.

“Take a picture of the ring or jewelry so we can compare it to something we find online or at a pawn shop,” Carroll said.

Carroll said once an inventory list is established, you need to update it every year.

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