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Stolen equipment database for the public?

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Ralphieboy
(@ralphieboy)
Posts: 35
Member Member
Topic starter
 

Why don’t all of the oem Survey Equipment companies have an online database to check if used equipment is stolen?  The method of “ask the dealer” isn’t workable, considering we are asking someone to assist on a sale that they aren’t making.  Obviously there is no perfect system, but  one that allowed victims of theft to list stolen items managed by the major Brands - accessible online?  

 

 
Posted : June 27, 2020 4:07 am
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
Posts: 10385
Member Member
 

@Wendell maybe this is an opportunity?

I suspect this need will go unmet, until it's met.

N

 
Posted : June 27, 2020 10:19 am
A. Sellman, Ralphieboy, A. Sellman and 3 people reacted
Wendell
(@wendell)
Posts: 5407
Founder Admin
 

Yeah, I really like this idea, and thinking the best way to start would be with a registry. You register your equipment and you can mark it as stolen, if that happens. You could register when it is stolen, or you could register when you purchase it. Serial numbers would be collected into the database, but NOT SHOWN to anyone (except you). But, people could search for a specific serial number and see if there are any results without us showing the actual serial number.

Down the road a bit, after getting some registry items in there, I could likely provide a system of reports, which might actually help you with an insurance claim. You'd be able to show when it was registered here and all of the details.

What information about the equipment would you think appropriate to store in a private database? As of right now, I'm thinking:

  • Equipment title (what YOU call it)
  • Description
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • Date of purchase
  • Purchased new or used
  • Owner contact details (name, company, address, etc.)
  • Equipment location (i.e. if you have multiple office locations)
  • Photos
  • Notes and comments

The serial numbers would ONLY be available to the owners that register the equipment. The only way you'd be able to determine a match would be if you had a specific serial number to search for, and we'd show you if there were any matches without divulging any personal information. You could then potentially contact that person.

Does this sound like a neato idea?

 
Posted : June 28, 2020 12:44 pm
mike1202, Jerry Hastings, FL/GA and 12 people reacted

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sireath
(@sireath)
Posts: 382
Member Member
 

Sounds like a good idea but a thought. There are many different ways to call a rose. If there is a way to standardise naming convention then it would be easier to identify should the need arises. 

On a side note: it may be interesting to see where the stolen equipment travels to to be sold later.

 
Posted : June 28, 2020 5:24 pm
Micheal D'Aubyn, Wendell, Micheal D'Aubyn and 3 people reacted
Wendell
(@wendell)
Posts: 5407
Founder Admin
 

@sireath Good thinking... It might be good to have another field or two to help keep things more standardized. I was thinking that maybe I could verify the names and numbers with manufacturers as they come in. Not sure the best way to do that yet, but yes, consistency would be key.

Thanks for the input!

 
Posted : June 28, 2020 11:53 pm
Jim Frame
(@jim-frame)
Posts: 7045
Member Member
 
Posted by: @sireath

it may be interesting to see where the stolen equipment travels to to be sold later.

By all means, add a comment field for investigation progress, recovery, insurance settlement, etc.  

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 6:41 am

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Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
Posts: 10385
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This is a comment, FROM the back pasture. (Please don't assume that I have front pasture perspective!)

A simple database, whereby the victim can enter what he had stolen. The victim may buy a used system, or a new system, and the full description may not even be available to him.

Many of us have HDBU syndrome.

(Head Down Butt Up)

Meaning, we work hard, and are not fully cognisant of our serial numbers. But, we can get them, after finding our papers associated with our gear, after some digging. Sure, put lots of search fields, but allow simpletons. To use it, via minimum information. I'd think that the serial numbers would be essential. 

It could be a "work in progress", adding fields as needed. 

But, please categorize my comments as maybe not fully thought through, or such.

I'm not in the "online forum business". You are. I'm way far from the tall stool you are on.

Simple. 

Person who lost gear, MUST provide to you a few things. Valid and current email. Correct name. Pls number, if applicable, etc. 

Make it so that if I find a set of gear in a pawn shop, I can search your database real fast, by brand, Ser num, or basic data.

The goal of re-uniting stolen gear with legit owners, has to be maintained. Law enforcement, FBI, DEA, all can use it.

Also, the relationship of the possessor, should be posted. I can see somebody finding some gear on the side of the road, and posting what he found.

Nate

 

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 7:45 am
Micheal D'Aubyn
(@micheal-daubyn-2)
Posts: 135
Member Member
 

This is a fantastic idea. As a fan of the older gear, I am quite often trolling Fleabay for the parts that I need and regularly come across suspect stuff. Leica MyWorld allows you to temporarily register the item in your name to see if it was reported stolen, but does nothing else to help you.

Fleabay, on the other hand, does not let you report sellers for trying to sell stolen equipment. Only law enforcement agencies have that option. There have been a couple of occasions where the stolen item has still been for sale, so I have warned people about it here.

Good idea. Me likey-likey.

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 3:00 pm
Andy J
(@andy-j)
Posts: 3028
Member Member
 

Here is a link the the Florida surveyors association crime page.  Maybe something like this but on a national level? 

 

https://www.fsms.org/crime-center2

 

 

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 3:40 pm
Wendell, Wendell and Wendell reacted

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Wendell
(@wendell)
Posts: 5407
Founder Admin
 

@andy-j

Nice! Thank you for the link. 😊 

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 6:55 pm
Jim Frame
(@jim-frame)
Posts: 7045
Member Member
 
Posted by: @nate-the-surveyor

It could be a "work in progress", adding fields as needed.

Unless things have changed since I set up my first Access database, that's frowned upon.  It's better to plan your database first, then implement it.  Fields can be added, but doing so can have unintended consequences.

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 7:13 pm
Wendell, Wendell and Wendell reacted
Wendell
(@wendell)
Posts: 5407
Founder Admin
 

@jim-frame

I do have room and the ability for changes down the road, but it's certainly best to have a clear plan for the database up front. I'd say it's considerably more forgiving than Access though.

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 7:27 pm

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Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
Posts: 10385
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To help Wendell get it going, suggest all the stuff that should be included in this fine new tool. Since some say "start it right", let's all help.

 

Lost, found, or stolen survey equipment registry.

Entry number:

Legit owner, or person who found name:

Email:

Date of loss, or finding:

Brand:

Description:

Serial number:

Story of loss:

Pics of equipment:

Special notes:

Links or url to police report:

Resolved? Y/N

Story of resolution:

Is Bigfoot a suspect?

Weather at time of found/loss?

Condition at time of loss, or found:

Ok, somebody else chime in!

Nate

 

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 8:28 pm
Wendell
(@wendell)
Posts: 5407
Founder Admin
 

Ok fellers, here's what I have so far: https://surveyorconnect.com/theft-report/

Consider this a beta, and there's no way for you to view the submitted reports yet. But feel free to play with the form and even submit some fake stuff (make sure it's obviously fake so I can easily identify it for deletion later). At some point, I'll share a viewable list of reports with you, so having some fake samples in there will be great to help me test. 😊 😎 

If you run into any errors or whatever, please feel free to report your findings here. I appreciate your help!

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 10:35 pm
Adam, Adam and Adam reacted
sireath
(@sireath)
Posts: 382
Member Member
 

@wendell

Great work trying to start this database. Here are some comments. Hope it doesnt discourage you. 

 

1. It seems it applies to America only. How about other countries? I do know that in Europe it is quite prevalent as well. 

2. Is there a need to write the value down? Do you take purchase price which could be awhile ago or after adjustment for depreciation?

3. I am quite confused with the model name & model number. Does it mean for e.g. Leica TS16. The model name is TS and model number 16? maybe you could have prefilled columns for common ones then set as others for not so popular models. 

4. Same comments for the police report and the incident details. Maybe make it more generic so it applies worldwide?

 

But great job wendell!

 
Posted : June 30, 2020 12:35 am
Wendell, Wendell and Wendell reacted

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