What Are Operation Identification and Operation Inventory?
Operation Identification and Operation Inventory are citizen's burglary prevention programs for use in homes and businesses. Operation Identification involves marking property with an identifying number as means of discouraging burglary and theft. Operation Inventory helps with reporting stolen property to the police and with insurance. It also provides police with a way to identify property should it be recovered. In Communities where it has been properly implemented, Operation Identification and Operation Inventory have shown dramatic results in burglary/theft reduction and the recovery of stolen property.
The San Angelo Police Department conducted a survey of stolen property for 2010. From 1/1/2010- 7/15/2010 there were 6,091 items reported stolen.
Out of 6,091 items stolen only 545 were reported with serial numbers.
This equaled less than 9% of stolen property.
What To Do:
Step 1: Make inventory list of property
Step 2: Photograph or video property
Step 3: Mark your items with your partial driver's license number, example: TX 123456_ _
Step 4: Make two copies of your photos and inventory, printed or on disk. (Do Not store the files solely on your computer!) Store one copy in a secure place in your house. Store the second copy either at a trusted relative or friend's home, or a safe deposit box
Some Things To Record:
DVD / Bluray Players
Car audio Components
Tools (hand & power)
Engrave your valuables with your partial driver's license number so your property can be easily traced and identified as yours. Engrave as follows: TX 123456_ _. Engrave in two locations if possible. One that can be easily seen and one that cannot. Photograph or videotape items and keep the photographs/ video in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Jewelry should be photographed with an ID card and ruler next to it to show ownership and size.
Display the Operation ID Sticker in a window facing the front and rear of the residence. This tells would-be burglars that your property has been marked and would be easily identified if stolen.
Operation Inventory is easy and simple; all you have to do is record descriptions of your property on the Operation Inventory Log Sheet and keep it in a safe place. If your property is stolen, you will be able to provide law enforcement information about the items taken. For any items that do not have serial numbers such as jewelry, you should take photographs and store them with the inventory log sheet.
What Does Law Enforcement Do?
Information about stolen property is entered into a national computer database known as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e. criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen property, and missing persons). It is available to Federal, State, local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When an item is found, it can be checked for stolen with items listed in the NCIC database.
Another valuable avenue of recovery is with pawn shops. Pawnbrokers provide law enforcement information about items pawned including serial numbers. They are also required to obtain government-issued photographic identification of individuals who pawn property and provide that information to law enforcement along with the items pawned.
Items reported pawned to law enforcement by pawnbrokers are routinely checked against items reported stolen in the NCIC database.
Just the Facts:
- Myth: Most people record their property's information and provide it to the police once it is stolen.
- Fact: The San Angelo Police Department conducted a survey of stolen property for 2010. From 1/1/2010- 7/15/2010 there were 6,091 items reported stolen. Out of 6,091 items stolen only 545 were reported with serial numbers. This equaled less than 9% of stolen property.
- Myth: All serial numbers are unique and belong to only the item it is attached to.
- Fact: The same serial number can be used on two different models of the same type of item. Serial numbers are sometimes repeated in other models of the same type of product by the same manufacturer. Its important to list the make, model & serial number of items.
- Myth: Stolen property has to have a serial number before the police can recover it.
- Fact: Several items that are stolen do not have serial numbers. Police are able to identify stolen property by just a description. Special markings or other identifying traits are helpful too.