The most wonderful time of the year can also be the worst. Law enforcement says it is during the holidays when crime increases.
However, there is a new tool that may keep you from becoming a victim and it is all thanks to technology.
The Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA) has partnered with a company that will provide a web site where consumers can register an inventory of their valuable property, report property that has been stolen or check whether an item they are attempting to buy has been reported as stolen.
Trace.com is collaborating with the TPCA, the Texas Department of Public Safety and more than 500 local Texas police departments and sheriff's offices to make Texas stolen property files available to the public.
The website has already partnered with more than half of the police forces in the United Kingdom and a number of international law enforcement organizations, Trace's Texas project is its first law enforcement partnership in the United States.
One of its main purposes is to help consumers research items, before purchasing, to see if they were stolen.
"If you purchase it and it is stolen whether you know it or not, you lose that item," Eddie Carmon with the Department of Public Safety said. "Once it is recovered by law enforcement, you don't get your money back."
Also, you can create a secure inventory for free of your valuable property on mythings.com.
Texas is the first state to partner with the websites, which were established in Europe. The Lone Star State was chosen because of the its large number of property crimes and strong tradition of law enforcement.
"I think this is a very valuable tool that will help law enforcement create some investigative leads and help the citizens and the public to help us in investigating their crimes," Zeta Fail with the College Station Police Department said.
Click on the links below to check out both trace.com and mythings.com.