A web service for both auctioning and tracking stolen antiques and high value items, Invaluable.com, was launched this week complete with its own crime squad.

Invaluable, formerly known as Thesaurus, is seeking to become a leading site for anyone with a passion for the fine art, collectibles and for antiques markets.

Heath Lambert has already signed up for the site's product, Protector, that helps recover valued possessions when they are stolen. .

European chief executive Rene Moolenaar said the site helps tackle the problem of the rising number of burglaries.

He said: "The victim of a theft does not want a cheque from his insurance company, he wants his valuables and family heirlooms back and the burglar behind bars. Invaluable.com supports the police in both of these goals."

Dick Ellis the ex head of Scotland Yard's fine art and recovery service, who was also responsible for recovering the stolen Scream painting in 1994, is in charge of Invaluable's crime squad.

The service will keep a log of millions of high value goods.

It will check whether items sold through auction lots and dealers, are stolen.