Operation Identification

Operation Identification is one of the best Crime Prevention weapons we have against criminals. Everyone can and should be involved in Operation Identification.

What Is Operation Identification?
Operation Identification is a project designed to discourage the theft of valuables from your home. This is achieved by placing an identifying mark on your items of value, that could be stolen. Participating in this project will lessen the likelihood of your property being stolen, and in the event that this happens, the chances of your property being recovered by the Police and returned to you, will increase. This identification can also give the Police a greater chance of tracing your property back to the thief. 

  Use an Engraver or marking pen on all valuable items

What Should Be Marked On Property?
The Police recommend you mark your property with your driver's license number, preceded with the letters 'NC' for North Carolina.


How To Participate?
Please contact your Community Patrol/Neighborhood Watch representative who has an engraver and can advise you of its use and alternative methods of property marking. You may wish to purchase your own engraver or UV marking pen at reasonable cost from most hardware stores.

UV marking is an inferior method that should ONLY be used on items that cannot be engraved.   UV pen marking needs to be done every two or three years.   Art work is ideal for UV pen application and I know that several businesses and Security Companies use this method to mark items and money when they suspect an employee is stealing from the boss.

Some items such as antiques, paintings, jewelry etc. Should be photographed. 

Will This Really Deter A Thief?
If a thief knows the property in your home is clearly marked he/she is unlikely to select your dwelling as a target. Further, property marked has a reduced resale value to the 'fence' making your property less attractive. Marked property is also easier to identify. At times when stolen property has been located, it has been your word against theirs, but if the property is marked you can easily identify it. The police have used these identification markings to help them convict criminals by tracing property back to the crime and the owner. 

What Should Be Marked? 
Items listed are the most common to be stolen from houses, It is important that they are marked regardless of value.

Television sets Video Equipment Cassette recorder Radios Computer Equipment Electronic Games Compact Disc player Compact discs - CDs Musical instruments Antiques Binoculars Cameras - including Video Cameras Guns Sporting Goods Furniture Metal Lock boxes Stereos Power Tools Kitchen appliances Bicycles Lawn mower Clocks telephones tools

Radio * Hub caps * Speakers * Tapes * Mag wheels * Tools * Tape deck/CD player * Battery * Tool box *

Not all items are suitable for marking by engraver or UV pen. The following items should be photographed, with a ruler alongside them to provide a scale. In fact if you can, photograph or video everything of value in the house. You can also use this as proof of identification and ownership for your insurance company.

Silverware Antiques Watches Furs etc. Paintings Collections.

Make A List Of All Items
Now that you have marked all your valuables, you should make a list and record the items you have marked together with make, model, serial number, cost price.   You should keep this list in a safe place for the Police and Insurance companies just in case something is stolen.  

A Home Check List is listed in Neighborhood Watch to assist you in marking and recording your personal property and valuables.

Item, Make, Serial Number, Value, Description of Article To include dents, scratches or any individual marks of recognition. Please keep your Property list in a safe and secure place. Remember to add new purchases to the list, and engrave them. You may wish to send a copy of the list to your Insurance company.

Marking your valuables reduces the risk of losing them, increases the possibility of regaining them should they be stolen and assists the police in tracing the goods back to the offender in many cases.