The odds of buying a stolen Stihl saw from an authorized Stihl dealer are nearly nonexistent, but when buying a Stihl chainsaw from a third party, the possibility exists that the equipment could be stolen. Fortunately, several ways exist for you to determine whether the chainsaw came from a reliable seller or you stumbled across a stolen saw and purchased it unknowingly.
Write down the serial number for the chainsaw. Stihl assigns all the chainsaws it manufactures a distinct number. When people buy the chainsaw new at a dealer, often the dealer takes care of registering the chainsaw with the Stihl company. You can call Stihl or contact them through email to learn if the previous owner ever reported it as stolen.
Look for a dealer's sticker on the chainsaw. Stihl only sells its chainsaws through servicing retailers that tend to be smaller stores, compared to big box stores. The Stihl retailers often use stickers on products they sell to make it easier for the buyer to remember where they purchased it. They include their phone number, address and email address. If you suspect that the Stihl chainsaw may be stolen, contact the dealer. A Stihl chainsaw can be an expensive tool and the retailer is likely to remember any losses through theft.
Call your local law enforcement agency. Police and sheriff departments keep records of the serial numbers of stolen equipment. The officer can look up the serial number to learn if someone has reported it as stolen.
Ask the officer to find out if the chainsaw shows up on the National Equipment Register list of stolen equipment. This is a national organization whose membership includes insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, construction companies, farmers and ranchers. If your local law enforcement is not a member, you can contact the Register directly using the resource in this article. This group maintains a database of construction equipment that you can search for a small fee using the serial number of the chainsaw, the model and the manufacturer.