What Is Operation Identification?

Operation Identification (Operation ID) is a citizen's burglary prevention program for use in homes and businesses. The Operation ID program involves marking property with an identifying number as a means of discouraging burglary and theft. It also provides police with a way to identify property should it be stolen and recovered. In communities where it has been properly implemented, Operation ID has shown dramatic results in burglary reduction.

Operation ID Has Two Basic Components

First: Engrave your valuables with your driver's license number so your property can be easily traced and identified as yours. Please note — If your driver's license number is your Social Security Number, we strongly recommend you: a) obtain a new license with a new number, or b) obtain an Arizona State Identification Card, which has a generic number and does not expire. Engrave as follows: AZ####### 13 (year of expiration). Engrave in two locations: 1) one that can easily be seen, and 2) one that cannot easily be seen. Photograph or videotape items and keep the photos/tape 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.

Second: Display a sticker that tells would-be burglars that your property has been marked. Stickers/placards can be purchased at the National Neighborhood Watch Institute's website by using the following link http://www.nnwi.org/operation_id.asp.

Note: Electric engravers can be purchased at hardware stores, or large department stores in the "tools" section.

What Makes Operation ID So Effective?

Marked property is difficult for a burglar to dispose of — it can be traced to the rightful owner with relative ease. And, if a burglar is caught with marked property, it is solid evidence of possession of stolen goods. After marking your property, make a list of your valuables, and keep a copy of the list in a safe place. If you should become a burglary victim, you will be able to quickly describe the stolen property from the list. This will be of great help to police in their attempts to recover stolen possessions. Once property has been marked and a list made, display the Operation Identification sticker on doors and windows that could be used for entry. By advertising your participation in Operation Identification in this way, you are announcing that your valuable property has been marked and will be difficult for a burglar to sell. Often, the presence of the sticker alone is enough to deter a burglar.

Mark These Possessions

The items listed below are those most commonly stolen from homes, cars, and businesses:

Answering machines

Bicycles

Binoculars

Camcorders

Cameras

Car audio systems

Computers and equipment

DVD players

Fishing rods, reels

Golf clubs

Guns

Kitchen appliances

Lawn mowers

Mag wheels

Microwaves

MP3 players

Musical instruments

Outboard motors

Radios

Stereo equipment

Tape recorders

Telephones

Tools (hand/power)

Televisions

Vacuum cleaners

Wheel covers