Need for a central database of stolen or missing items in Nigeria

Posted by Afam Nnaji | 5 July 2013 | 5,383 times

Gmail icon

Items and properties like cars, mobile phones, laptops, etc., are stolen from people on the road, in their homes or offices while others are stolen from where they are kept in homes and offices.

Oftentimes, victims of stolen items and properties resort to telling friends, colleagues and/or relatives about their stolen items; few report to the police especially if anyone was being suspected or if personal effects like Identity Cards are involved so as to protect them should such cards be found in crime scenes in the future.

How many stolen items and properties are eventually recovered remains an issue that is open to debate but the fact remains that most stolen items are never recovered because even those that could have helped in identifying them do not have much information especially pictures or unique information about the items that could have helped them in identifying them even if they came across them.

The law enforcement agents like policemen and soldiers who may be involved in stop and search operations may have nothing other than plate numbers and type of cars, for example. Considering the fact that a vehicle plate number could be changed effortlessly, the colour of the vehicle could be change so it becomes difficult for a stolen vehicle to be identified easily if the thief is determined.

How many of your items do you know their serial numbers, VIN/Chassis No, IMEI No and other unique identifies let alone pictures of those items?

That is where the need for a central database of stolen or missing items arises from. I mean a web application that will allow Nigerians do the following:

1. Report any stolen or missing item or property and attach a reward for anyone that helps to recover it if need be.

2. Register an item or property with all necessary details including up to three pictures of each item. Items registered are not visible to the public. Only the item owner can view it unless it is flagged as stolen or missing.

3. Search the database using any relevant parameter or use the advanced search facilities to filter results based on any or combinations of the following – IMEI No, Serial No, Make, Model, VIN/Chassis No, Engine No, Vehicle plate number, etc.

4. Provide tips anonymously to victims on how to locate their stolen or missing items.

Now, this will help.

5. Potential buyers of items or properties to find out if what they intend buying is stolen, missing or genuine.

6. Law enforcement agents to search and confirm the status of a suspected stolen item or property.

Along this line, it is my pleasure to introduce Stolen Items Database (, a free web application for Nigerians.

This project is a social service designed and developed by me as a way of giving back to the society, making the work of our law enforcement agents easier and helping victims of stolen items or properties to inform Nigerians about their stolen items with the visibility the platform offers which could help in locating or recovering the stolen items or properties.

It is hoped that this free social service will be of immense help to Nigerians.

Comments, suggestions and feedback are welcome and could be sent to

Afam Nnaji (shown in photo) works as a software developer and an alternative energy consultant. He could be contacted at

Source: News Express

Readers Comments

0 comment(s)

No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.

You may also like...