Returning stolen items a challenge for Columbia Police

3 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Friday, September 05 2014 Sep 5, 2014 Friday, September 05, 2014 1:50:00 PM CDT September 05, 2014 in News
By: Kyle Jacoby, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA- There were an average of more than two reported burglaries per day in Columbia last month. That continues the trend of Columbia having more burglaries than the national average.

Columbia resident Janice Rehmer was burglarized in April and still hasn't got any of her stuff back. She estimates she lost about $10,000 in jewelry.

Capturing the thieves and then returning the items they stole is a challenge for Columbia Police.

Evidence Custodian of the Columbia Police Department Michelle Heater says capturing the thief is just the first step. Items can't be returned to their owner until they are no longer needed for the investigation which Heater says can take a long time.

"It can take months, even years for items to be returned to the original owner," said Heater.

Heater admits that more staff would help the police expidite the process. She says the real problem is the amount of time it takes for them to know if an item can be returned.

"To find out whether they're going to keep investigating this or is this something we can return now, or is this something we need to keep, I mean we need more people, everyone does here," said Heater.

Heater says the system they have in place is relatively efficient for the staff they have. When they know an item can be returned, Columbia Police sends out a letter to the original owner.

However, because they have issues with storage space, they can only give the owner 30 days to pick up the item.

Heater says they have 45 to 50 thousand items in the evidence room and after 30 days they will auction off the items or dispose of them to make room for incoming items.

Rehmer says the police have no leads on the burglary of her home and in general has been dissapointed in the lack of communication. She says she hasn't received a letter or any communication on how the case is going for months.

"If they would find the person, they need to contact me and say, we found the person, we haven't found your jewelry yet," said Rehmer.

Rehmer says the jewelry stolen was passed down through her family for generations. While she understands the police are working hard, she wishes they could do better returning peoples' valuable items. 

"I haven't given up hope, but I know I'll probably never see any of it again, and that's sad," said Rehmer.

Heater says one way to help the process is to write down the serial number of your valuable items. If you call in that number, the police can look to see if they have the item, and give you an update on whether they can return it.

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- The counting of votes was underway Saturday following Ireland's referendum to lift the... More >>
20 minutes ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 6:43:00 AM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield has a new mayor, but it's the way he was selected that has a group... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 9:26:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:52 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Aircraft and pilots met at Columbia Regional Airport Friday to prepare for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans"... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:45:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A high-speed car chase ended Sunday when the suspect slid into a ditch, according to a press release... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- It's no secret more cars will out for Memorial Day weekend, but many drivers are taking precautions before... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old western Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
7am 70°
8am 73°
9am 76°
10am 80°