PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police Department are using the power of the internet to put stolen goods back into the hands of their rightful owners.

GPS units, computers, iPods and iPhones are just a small sampling of what the officers at Southwest Detectives have recovered after a recent string of burglaries across sections of the city.

“We’ve had a number of burglaries in West Philadelphia and Southwest Philly. We’ve also had house break-ins, car break-ins and it appears they were turning things into this business for money,” said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker.

Police searched the M&N Gold/Lingerie Store at 52nd and Chestnut, finding plenty of gold and, at least 1,000 questionable items.

“We’re suspecting that a lot of this stuff was taken from people’s homes, cars or from buses and trolley’s,” said Walker.

Detectives now have the monumental task of logging the stolen goods into evidence, which will soon be placed on the Department’s website, so the merchandise will finally get back into the hands of the rightful owners.

“Looking through the cameras and seeing weddings, anniversaries and other types of special moments for people, We felt that people would probably want those things back more than anything else.”

Police were getting a glimpse into the lives of burglary victims, from momentous occasions and birthday celebrations, to the birth of children, all memories captured on cameras, then lost to thieves.

Watch the video…

“What we’re looking to do, from the department’s perspective, is on the department’s website is do virtual showings where people can view (and claim) their items.”

Southwest detectives will hold a public showing of the stolen items next week, with the hopes that victims of these crimes will be able to claim thier propoerty before turning to in later weeks to allow victim’s to take a virtual tour of what may be there belongings.

Reported by Natasha Brown, CBS 3

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