Get photos. Record serial numbers. Write down when and where you bought stuff. Record the value. Make note of condition issues or special features. Everything.

Talk to all your neighbors. Ask them if they have seen anybody suspicious in the neighborhood. Tell people that your house or car was broken into. Remind them that they could be next. That will get them involved. Take names and make notes of everything your find out.

This was instrumental in getting my stuff back. I gave the info to the police and printed pictures to spread around to all the antique shops, pawn shops and junk stores in the area. I pounded the pavement for a week and sent out e-mails to my camera club and everybody else I knew. It's a shame that anybody has to do that but, if you want your stuff back, you have to get the word out on the street. Everybody who might be in a position to buy the goods needs to know that they might be buying hot merchandise. You need to close all avenues of escape. Either the their will have to ditch the goods or hide them.

I have a computer database of nearly every piece of kit I own. It was merely a matter of printing out the pages and spreading them around.

The police can't do everything. It is an unfortunate truth but you are going to have to do a lot of their work for them.

Another thing that helps is to have connections. My mother happens to be friends with the District Attorney. She is on the political committee that did a lot of work for his election campaign. An e-mail from my mother is all it took. The D.A. made a couple of phone calls that helped get the train rolling.

All I did was send the D.A. all the information I had and, when he called the police detective, the cops put the pieces together. From there it was all a matter of putting the pieces together.

Most crooks aren't too smart. That's whey they are crooks. Right?
If you are smarter than the crooks (which isn't too hard) you will have a better chance of prevailing.