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IMPD NORTH DISTRICT CRIME WATCH - Personal Property Inventory

  • March 26, 2021 9:05 AM
    Message # 10237348
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A Personal Property Inventory is the process of documenting all the valuable items that you own. This is important because it can help you get valuables back if you are ever the unfortunate victim of a crime, of a natural disaster or an accident. Having an inventory will also help you in the process of filing insurance claims when necessary.

    What Needs to be Taken Inventory of?

    The home is a warehouse of important goods. Whether they have value from their price tags or simply because they are cherished goods, there are many important items in your home. Anything and everything of personal or monetary importance should be taken inventory of:

    • Personal records and items like ID’s, social security cards, bank statements, birth certificates, insurance records, and any other item that has confidential information.
    • Jewelry, gold, silver, and any item that has value.
    • Personal belongings, valuables, memorable home items, heirlooms.
    • Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, watercrafts, tools, electronics, artwork, antique furniture, books, and basically any item of value that could be stolen, damaged, re-sold and/or is high in value.


    How to Take Inventory?

    The process of taking inventory might not be as exciting as the result. In order to get the job done properly, you will have to take some time, because you need to be as meticulous as possible to collect all the proper information.

    • Start the process by going through your home using a cellphone, tablet or just old-fashioned pen and paper, and take notes of your valuables. Go room by room and nook by nook taking notes on the descriptions of your items, their serial numbers, and the value of those you remember.
    • Take photos or videos of each item and write down anything that could be an identifier to distinguish it from similar products. Are there any dents or blemishes? Every detail, no matter how small, can be useful. Brand, model, serial number, year, value. If you have documentation on these items, including receipts, have this information also backed up. Remember to take pictures of the entire rooms as well.
    • Write down all the information of each item. If an item does not have a serial number, you will need to create one, once you have decided on them, imprint your own unique “serial” number on it by labeling, etching, using ultraviolet markers, permanent markers, etc. You should post signs alerting intruders that these deterrents are in place.


    Important things to remember during this process:

    ·         Keep copies of your inventory forms and photographs of your valuables in a safe place, accompanied by your insurance policy, and any other valuable documents that you may have.

    ·         All important information and documents should be kept in an easily recoverable location. The best approach is to have a safe box, either at home or in the bank; which is also more likely to survive a disaster.

    ·         If you keep receipts, scan them and store them digitally on a memory card, hard disk or USB, and have multiple copies. It is good to keep a physical inventory, but remember it could be damaged, destroyed or lost. Having digital and physical records is the best approach.

    ·         A good idea is to create a digital file (Word, Excel, etc.) and email it as an attachment to yourself from your own email. That way you could recover the file from any computer in case yours is lost, damaged or stolen.

    ·         You could also use online cloud-based tools, as physical digital storage could be damaged or lost. We suggest keeping record in all three places, local storage, physical digital storage and online.

    ·         Update your inventory annually, or whenever you add new and/or important to your possessions. Have a system that allows you to update information easily and in real time without any hassle.


    The more structure the process has, the easier it will be for you to manage it. List inventory items under specific categories that can quickly distinguish items. Technology allows to make this process simple, so use it to stay organized.  



    There are many reasons why you would like to keep records of your valuables and personal property; especially if you ever need to file a Police Report or a claim on your homeowners or renters’ insurance. You will appreciate having proof and detailed descriptions available of whatever it is that you might have lost.

    If you ever need to file an insurance claim, the process will be much smoother having enough and in-depth information about the items you own and their value. You will also need to make sure your insurance policy reflects the true value of your insured possessions.



    Gerardo Becerra

    Crime Watch – Crime Prevention Specialist

    Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department – North District

    Community Relations

    605 E Westfield Boulevard, Suite 100
    Indianapolis, IN 46220

    Office: (317) 327-3781



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