Operation ID

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


  • Engrave your valuables with a distinguishing number so that your property can easily be traced and identified as yours. 
  • Engrave in two locations: 1) one that can easily be seen, and 2) one that cannot easily be seen.
  • Use an invisible ink or black light pen.  This allows you to mark property and not detract from the overall appearance.  
  • 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.


  • Display a sticker that tells would-be burglars that your property has been marked.

Note: Electric engravers can be purchased at hardware stores, or large department stores in the “tools” section. However, you can schedule a time to borrow one by reaching out to your local PAR Officer.  If you have any additional questions contact your local PAR Officer.

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.  Yes, it does take the owner time to do this but it also allows the owner to have a much better chance of getting their valuables back following a theft or burglary, or even just being lost.

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:

Bicycles, Microwaves, Binoculars, MP3 Players, Camcorders, Musical Instruments, Cameras, Radios, Car Stereos Stereo Equipment, Cell Phones, Tools (hand/power), Computer Equipment, Televisions, DVD Players, Vacuum Cleaners, Fishing Rods and Reels, Golf Clubs, Mag Wheels, Guns, Kitchen Appliances, Lawn Mowers or anything that might look like something of value.