THE PENS DISPATCH
From the Criminal Investigations Unit at PCT 4 PENS Police Email Notification System
MONTHLY EDITION - MAY 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the May edition of THE PENS DISPATCH. This bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 4 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU4) and is designed to keep you aware of safety alerts and crime trends in your area and measures you can take to keep you and your family safe.
Last month, we welcomed the new Criminal Investigations Commander, and this month we want to welcome the new Precinct Four Commander, Major Brian A. Batterton, and Assistant Precinct Commander, Captain Ben Cohen. Major Batterton and Captain Cohen were assigned to their new assignments on April 8, 2018. Major Batterton was previously the commander of the West Cobb precinct and has 20+ years of service to Cobb County. Captain Cohen is a newly promoted captain who previously served on the SWAT team, as the Tactical Team Commander, and as the supervisor over the Organized Crime Unit. Major Batterton is a veteran of the United States Army and Captain Cohen is a veteran of the Marine Corp, Semper Fi!
PUBLIC SAFETY TOPIC OF THE MONTH
What is a property record? Why does it matter?
A property record is the process of taking inventory of all of the items that you own. This process is important, because it can help you get valuables back if you are ever the unfortunate victim of crime, and if you a victim of a natural disaster or accident, having an inventory can allow you to file insurance claims for your items.
A property record usually involves placing an ID or serial number on your items and taking note of what you own. This keeps you aware of lost items if there’s a burglary or disaster, and serial numbers aid in retrieving items at pawn shops. Taking inventory is an important process for both homeowners and businesses.
What needs to be taken inventory of?
The home is a warehouse of important goods. Whether they have value from their price tags or a simply cherished goods, there’s a plethora of important items in the home. Anything and everything of personal or monetary importance should be taken inventory of. This includes:
- Personal records and items like ID’s, social security cards, bank statements, birth certificates, insurance records, and any other item that has confidential information.
- Electronics, jewelry, gold, silver, and any item that has value.
- Personal belongings, valuables, memorable home items.
- Televisions, DVD players, stereos, cameras, microwaves, automobiles, bicycles, watercrafts, motorcycles, electronics, artwork, antique furniture, books, and basically any item of value that can be re-sold and is high in price.
For many, keeping an inventory is a reality check about how much you could truly lose in the home during a break in or disaster. Many people don’t realize how much valuable stuff they have until after inventory. This can also be an encouraging processes to properly secure valuables and make sure they are hidden well.
How to Take Inventory
The process of taking inventory will not be as exciting as the result. But to get the job done properly, you’ll have to take ample time, because you need to be as meticulous as possible to collect all the proper information.
Step 1: Start the process by going through the home and using an iPhone, tablet, or old fashioned pen and paper, take notes of your valuables. Go room by room, crevice by crevice, nook by nook, and cranny by cranny. Take notes on the descriptions of your items, their serial numbers, and the value that the items.
Step 2: Next, take photos and videos of each item and write down anything that could be an identifier to distinguish it from similar products. Are there any dents? Blemishes? Does it have a crack on the back left on? Every detail, no matter how minute, can be useful. What brand is the product? What year is it from? How much is the product worth? What model is it? What’s the serial number? Do you have multiple of these items? Have all documentation on items, including receipts, and photos of receipts. Have this information also backed up.
Step 3: Take down the serial numbers of each item, and if they don’t have one, you’ll need to imprint your own unique number on it.
Important things to remember during this process:
- Keep copies of your inventory forms and photographs of your valuables in a very safe place that’s accompanied by an insurance policy, and any other valuable documents that you may have. Give copies to your insurance agent as well.
- All important information and documents should be kept in an easily recoverable location. The best approach is to have a safe to ensure that burglars can’t break in, and the reinforced steel is more likely to survive a disaster.
- Make sure to update this information at least once a year, or whenever you add new items to your inventory.
- Remember to take photos and videos of entire rooms and all of your valuables.
- If you keep receipts, scan them and store them digitally, or on a memory card, hard disk, USB, and have multiple copies. It’s good to keep physical inventory, but if there’s ever a break in a burglar can steal this info, or if there’s a fire or other natural disaster you can lose it. Having a digital and physical record is the best approach. Some apps can even help with this.
You can even use online cloud based tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Onedrive, and others, because remember, a computer drive can also be destroyed in a fire. We suggest keeping record in all three places, local storage, third party like USB, and online over the cloud.
One of the most important things to do is to stay on top of the inventory. Update it annually, or whenever new and important items are added to your home. Have a system that allows you to update information easily and in real time without any hassle.
It’s even possible to use a wedding gift registry scanner to keep track of items.
The more structure the process has, the easier it will be on everyone involved. List inventory items under specific categories, for instance: by room, type of item, and various subcategories that can quickly distinguish items. Technology makes this process simple. Technology is your friend, so use it to stay organized and simplify the process and storage as much as possible.
Bringing it All Together
Keeping record of personal property is also important for when you’ll need to file a claim on your homeowners insurance or rental policy. You’re going to want to have proof of whatever it is that you have lost. Keep in mind that you will want your homeowners or renters insurance to reflect the true value of your possessions, which includes valuables, collections and expensive electronic gear. It’s very easy for rental insurance to get out of line with the real world value of things you own and use.
Whenever you end up filing a claim, the process will go much smoother if you have sufficient and in depth information about the items you own. All of this information will be extremely important for your insurance company and agent.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH CRITICAL INFORMATION
Cobb Department of Public Safety staff is working to enhance the delivery of near real-time information to residents about incidents that may have significant and/or imminent impacts on their safety or welfare. DPS has implemented the SwiftReach Swift911 notification system to distribute these types of alerts.
SwiftReach is a high-speed emergency notification system that alerts residents to emergency situations including severe weather, missing and endangered persons or significant road closures due to fatality accidents or other unplanned incidents in the local area. The program has the capability of delivering pre-recorded messages to the entire county via telephone, cell phone, email and text messaging. The system uses a publicly-available list of phone numbers that can be removed or updated by both residents and businesses.
There are two simple options to opt-in and provide contact information for this service. A sign up portal is available on the Police, Fire, EMA and Public Safety pages on the Cobb County website. Residents can also get the Swift911 Mobile App by texting the word “Swift911” to “99538.” The response text will be a link for the Swift 911 app in the app store. SwiftReach is another example of using current technology to ensure residents receive vital information from the Department of Public Safety. For more information, visit the Department of Public Safety page at www.cobbcounty.org and click on the SwiftReach icon.
Everyone can sign up for PENS alerts and monthly bulletins.
Send an email to our administrative specialist, Teresa Hayes, to request to be a PENS Representative. Teresa.Hayes@cobbcounty.org
PENS is now working in coordination with Nextdoor.com to reach out to more of the East Cobb Community. You will receive our monthly bulletins and other immediate crime trends with the direct communication between us and your neighborhoods. Sign up at Nextdoor.com
On April 23, Detective M.X. Hubauer was able to make an arrest in a theft case where an elderly victim had her credit cards stolen and used fraudulently. Through Detective Hubauer’s investigation, he was able to determine a “friend” close to the victim were the suspects. The offenders were charged and are in custody. Great job, Detective Hubauer!
On April 26, uniform officers responded to an address on Pebble Creek Road in reference to a burglary already occurred. The items that were stolen were 2 Apple MacBook laptops 13" and 15", Gucci slides (sandals), PlayStation 4 controller, PlayStation 4 game system, and PlayStation game. Detective S.S. Penirelli was able to determine one laptop was pawned recently. The second laptop was determined to have been sold online. A search warrant was done on a suspect’s residence at In-Town Suites where the Gucci Sliders (sandals) were located. Through an interview the suspect confessed to the burglary and advised he sold the PlayStation to an individual. The suspect was arrested and charged thanks to the excellent work by Detective Penirelli, Detective Slatton, and Sergeant Gasque and with the assistance of uniformed officers.
Entering autos continue to increase in the East Cobb area. Officers and Detectives are working diligently to have a positive impact, however, you can make the biggest difference. Remember to lock your vehicles and remove items of value. Also call 911, if you see anything suspicious. Don’t hesitate to use the 911 service to report potential criminal activity.
Thanks for your participation.
Remain Safe and Vigilant!