Interview with the Owner of My Property ID Registry

Last week I shared with you about how our family started using My Property ID to safeguard our valuables from burglars. My Property ID is a company that helps you label and record your serial numbers into a registered database.

How their site works is like this:

  • You order their kit which is a one time cost. There are no hidden monthly bills or anything else you will pay. 
  • When you receive your kit, you will attach labels to your high end items near their serial numbers.
  • You will then record the serial number next to each of your label numbers for each item into their database.
  • Next you will put stickers on your doors warning others that all your valuable items are labeled and in a registered database.
  • Lastly, you will print out a hard copy of all the serial numbers and labels to keep for your records.

This week I wanted to do an interview with the owner of My Property ID, Jon Shelness. I asked Jon some questions that came to mind about how his product is different from others and why it works!

Q1. 1. How is this different than just writing down your own serial numbers and keeping a hard copy? Other than getting window stickers and stickers to go on your items. Couldn't people write down their own serial numbers to give to the authorities?

A1: Imagine a world where you bought a car and all you had to do is write down the VIN somewhere. No license plate and no registration. To you that might not seem like such a bad idea, but over 120 years ago, law enforcement professionals absolutely saw the need of putting a licence plate on a car and tying the VIN to the plate and the rightful owner. Operation ID is a voluntary, police-endorsed version of a car registration system. MyPropertyID is a police-accepted advancement.

Q2: Is your site secure for people's information? So many sites get hacked and their personal information is taken now. How secure is your site and the accounts?

A2: My first three FAQs deal with privacy. Did you know that there are dozens of websites that you can go to and enter your VIN and see every detail about your vehicle except the owner? My system does not allow that. The point is that VINs and serial numbers have no value except to the rightful owner and the police for proving a crime. MyPropertyID never keeps credit card information, so there is no financial incentive to break in.

Q3: Let's say someone had their serial numbers and gave them to the police. The only way the police can actually track those numbers is if they show up somewhere that has a database like in a pawn shop, correct? If someone is selling them under the table, then the numbers wouldn't be in a computer system. 

A3: Now this is an odds question. ..and it's where the human brain is at its weakest. It has to do with proximity to the issue. ...burn your finger on the stove, the lesson is instant. Keep fresh batteries in a smoke detector that will likely NEVER save your life.... Soap that washes away germs that you can't see.... You're a great driver. Why wear a seatbelt? So, here is the giant disconnect. Because of licensing and registering of cars, the national average of recovery of stolen vehicles is 60%. Think about that. Cars are huge and hard to dispose of, but 40% disappear. In states like Iowa, only 10% of stolen cars disappear.

When it comes to other property with serial numbers the rate of recovery is around 7%. 93% disappears. Forget pawn shops for the moment. Nationwide, law enforcement agencies execute search warrants for a whole range of crimes and recover millions upon millions of stolen items. No kidding! They are required to run the serial numbers through the FBI's databases. What percentage come back as stolen. On average, 7%. If every citizen could provide serial numbers in the event of a crime, the odds of recovery would go up and crime rates would come down.

Q4: The Lost and Found section on the site also only works if the sticker is still intact correct? If a thief takes the sticker off and sells it under the table, then it can't work right?

A4: The numbered stickers have two purposes. It lets a criminal know that there is a record of the serial number of the device and that serial number will be given to the police even if the sticker is removed. (All you need is a screwdriver to get a license plate off.). It's a deterrent.

People lose stuff all the time. The world is packed full of Good Samaritans. They find sets of keys or laptops or phones and there is zero way to get it returned. MyPropertyID provides a secure way to do that.

In closing, human brains are very, very poor measures of odds and probabilities. Do you remember a few years ago when children and parents were dying on amusement park rides? It made national headlines. The thing is, you still had a better chance of dying driving to the amusement park than taking the ride, but peoples emotions get in the way.

There are things that are so obviously good for us that were initially totally resisted by people. The first thing that comes to mind is soap. Then seatbelts and smoke detectors. 
Telling people the facts doesn't motivate them to do anything. The advertising strategies of Lifebuoy Soap got people to bathe. The Crash Test Dummies advertising campaign got people to buckle up. My Property ID works because it goes off the basis of Operation ID which is used by police departments around the world.

I truly hope this interview helps answer some questions you might have had about My Property ID! If you want to check out their products, make sure to use code "LULLABY50%OFF" for 50% off a kit of your own!