The chances of you becoming a victim of a crime increase daily. Millions of dollars in property are stolen each year. There is no way to totally eliminate theft, but there are ways of increasing the protection of your property and discouraging the possible theft of it.
Types of Property Identification Systems
- Number/Alphabet Marking: This consists of marking all of your property with a permanent number such as your social security number. This marking should be permanently placed on your equipment/property. Never write the number on the property with something that is erasable. Instead, embed the number on the property with an engraver.
- Serial Numbers: Most items you purchase have serial numbers that have been placed on them by the manufacturer. You can engrave this number on more than one place in the equipment/property.
- Pictures: You can identify your property by taking pictures of items and placing them in a Personal Property Catalog. When doing this, it is a good idea to include the serial number or personal identification number in the picture.
- Videos: A new method of property identification is making a video recording of your property. Once again, be sure to include the serial number or personal identification number in the video.
Note: With all of the methods above, one of the most important steps is to record and save all information. It is wise to have duplicate records of all property identification systems, one in your home and another kept outside the home, possible in a safety deposit box.
Benefits of Good Property Identification Systems
- Recovery: Thousands of dollars in property are recovered each year by police agencies and never returned to the rightful owner. Usually the property is sold at public auctions. This occurs because police cannot determine or identify the owner. Do not let this occur with your property--claim it as yours with one of the property identification methods previously introduced.
- Prosecution: If your property is recovered and is able to be identified as yours, it will make it much easier for the prosecutor to gain a guilty conviction. In court, you must be able to prove that it is in fact your property and that it was stolen from you.
- Insurance: If your property is stolen and you have insurance, you must be able to identify it with some type of record in order to recover the loss. A video of the property would be very helpful.
- Deterrent: Simply having your property marked with non-disposable markings will discourage a thief from taking your property in some cases. The thief may be afraid of being caught with your marked property because it is easily traceable. He will most likely move on to an easier victim.
Remember to report all crimes to the police. Before they can take action, they must know that a crime has occurred.