Police work to return thousands of stolen items to owners

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Piling up property is a problem for many police departments, but in Greenwood, the search to find the home of one unique item has sparked a bigger effort to chip away at the overflowing heaps.

“I take care of all the evidence, I bring it in I log it in. If it needed to be stored i put it on the shelf. If it needs to go to state police, I take it to state police,” Jack Napier, Greenwood Police Department’s property room manager said.

For Napier, keeping afloat in the flooding evidence rooms at Greenwood P.D. is a daily struggle. There are items we would expect, drugs and guns, but others may take people by surprise. There’s a grave site marker dated 1870, for a boy just 20 months old.

“That’s an item you just don’t want to destroy,” Napier said.

After 12 years of the Greenwood Police Department holding on to this tombstone, with the help of social media, they think they may have found it’s home.

“I’ve been looking up and filling in holes in my own family tree so I thought if this is going to help another family with their search than that’s great,” Caryn Turrel said.

She spotted a Facebook post about the stone and put her genealogy skills to good to use.

“It’s just made me feel good that ten minutes of my time was able to fix something,” Turrel said.

What she found led police to Kosciusko County.

“So it looks like we’re gonna meet this week to make sure, but they’re probably going to get it back,” Napier said.

It’s a happy ending for just one piece of this property puzzle, but Napier says even with auctions and destroying items, more needs to be done.

“You’re running out of space and we have no where to go,” Napier said.

And he says theft victims need to step forward.

“If you have something that’s been stolen or lost, call your police department because it may be there,” Napier said.

Greenwood police suggest collecting serial numbers off personal property, so in the case of theft, it is easy to get those items back. Even items without serial numbers could be in police custody. Victims should also contact police if any property is missing.

 

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