"I actually came outside to warm my car up and came back in to tell my family goodbye and then, just a couple minutes later, I came outside and my car was gone and everything in it," said Bryan Minor.

Last Thursday morning, Minor's car was stolen.  His work laptop, iPod, wallet and subs also were taken. 

Luckily for him, he manages Loftis Jewelry and Pawnbrokers and, because of his firsthand experience with buying and selling used merchandise, he knew to write down all of his serial numbers. 

According to the Springfield Police Department, car thefts and burglaries go up in the winter time.  Bryan says the top three items that are stolen and brought in every week include jewelry, electronics and hand tools.  Several times a week, police try contacting them to try to recover these items.

"They have to have a valid drivers license ID, passport, or military ID and then we have to verify that so we'll take that information, including their picture, and so, once we've got  their information, now we've got the product.  Now we can register all of that information into our program, into our system and that gets uploaded every single night to a website called LEADS Online that law enforcement agencies across the country can access instantly."

While he hasn't yet got back his items, his car was found and, now that it's in his possession, he'll be looking out for someone to hopefully return his things.

"But I was thankful to get my car back; I did get my car back.  Springfield police did a great job retrieving that, so that's the big thing but, hey 'tis the season.  Be warned.  Don't let your car warm up out there, because they will come get it from you" said Minor.

The car was stolen at about 7:30 in the morning.  Springfield police had it returned to Minor by about 3:30 that afternoon. 

So, remember, writing down all those serial numbers could be the difference in getting your car returned.

For more information or to contact Loftis Jewelry and Pawnbrokers, it's at 410 W. University Ave., just north of the corner of Sunshine Street at Campbell Avenue,
Springfield; (417) 866-4635.

In January, the store will open a new location on the north side of the city.