FBI Stolen Articles Database: How to Find Missing Property


This article provides an overview of how thieves sell stolen property. In addition, it explains how you can search the FBI’s stolen articles database to find the missing property. Also, you’ll find suggestions for how to report missing items as stolen and how you can register property to provide protection.

Overview of Stolen Property

Have you ever wondered whether a product you bought or are considering buying was stolen? Perhaps you bought an item from someone on craigslist.com, but you got a suspicious feeling from the seller. Maybe it was an expensive item on sale for an unusually low price. Or, the seller seemed overly willing to agree to your requests, anything to get the item sold.

If you’re gut told you that something smelled fishy, it is possible that you purchased stolen property. Read this article to find out how to check the FBI Stolen Articles Database File to see if the products or goods you purchased were stolen.

How Thieves Sell Stolen Property Online

Criminals and thieves use online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon.com, craigslist.com, and others to move stolen items quickly and easily. The anonymous nature of online marketplaces makes it easy to conceal the seller’s true identity and cover up the true history of the stolen property.

Thieves and criminals sell illegally obtained items at flea markets and even on busy street corners. Criminals steal articles to sell them online for a 100% profit.

Recipero’s Trace Services Helps Combat Crime

Now, there is an easy way to check to see if the item or property you bought was reported as stolen. A company known as Recipero is one of the largest data collection companies in the world. Recipero is now part of TransUnion.

The company provides information services to law enforcement agencies, the United States government, insurance companies, retail businesses, and individual buyers. Recipero operates a service called Trace, which searches FBI Stolen Articles files on the NCIC database.

The FBI Stolen Articles File is a database of property that was reported to law enforcement agencies as being stolen or missing. The database, which is the largest of its kind, contains millions of product serial numbers that can be searched online free of charge.

Police departments run a database search through Trace to determine if goods they recovered during a bust were ever reported as stolen. Individuals can quickly search to determine if a product they are considering buying was taken from someone else.

How Police Check for Stolen Property

Police use a combination of Immobilize, the world’s largest FREE register of possession ownership details, NMPR and CheckMEND. These databases help law enforcement recover and return personal property to its rightful owners.

How to Report an Article as Stolen

When you report the stolen property to your local police department, make sure you request that the information be available to the FBI Stolen Articles File on the NCIC database. As long as local law enforcement reports the information, the goods will be searchable from the Trace website.

How to Register and Protect Purchased Goods

Recipero also operates a service known as Immobilize, the National Property Register. It allows people to register their valuables and increase the likelihood of getting their stuff back in case of a crime or disaster. In addition to recording serial numbers, you can even upload photos and receipts via the website.

Frequently recorded items include mobile phones, bicycles, laptops, jewelry, and home entertainment. The site can even be used to record serial numbers of cash.

Registering makes the information available to police departments around the country immediately. This helps combat the sale of stolen goods and helps police and insurance companies take action.

Questions and Comments

Please comment below if you have any questions about searching the FBI Stolen Articles File.

Learn more about how law enforcement works with pawn shops to recover stolen items.

If you need to check out an online buyer, do a public records search with BeenVerified, TruthFinder, Intelius, or Spokeo.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.


  1. Section on “How to Check for Stolen Property” is a dead end at step #2. The link in Step 1 takes me to Recipero. There is no Sign Up link at the top of the page per Step 2.

    I purchased a high-end bicycle that I found out (with great effort) was stolen. NCIC database is worthless to the average consumer. Bicyclists know and rely on BikeIndex.org. It was not stolen per BikeIndex and I’m out of a lot of money. It was supposedly entered into NCIC but how was I to know? Law enforcement can’t/won’t even return my calls. System is broken.

  2. My name is Sam Pfeiffer. I am starting a mobile app and website called safe Or Stolen. I want to join the FBI and Steve Jones, Recipero team. I want to expand the Crime Reduction Ecosystem you have created with our company and support your services with our app and website. Lets join together and fight this terrible rising crime rate. Together, we can develop a long term business relationship, make more progress. and decrease crime even faster. I would really like it if the FBI, Steve Jones. from Recipero, or anyone else with the technology to make our services available, would please contact me at safeorstolen@outlook.com.


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