Operation Identification (Operation ID) is a citizen’s burglary prevention program for use in homes and businesses. It involves all citizens and is designed to discourage burglary and theft by permanently identifying valuables.
About the Program
The Operation Identification program involves marking your property with your Washington State identifier number as a means of discouraging burglary or theft.
Should your property be stolen or lost, it helps the police to contact you when the property is recovered and lets you identify it so it can be returned to you. In communities where it has been properly implemented, Operation Identification has shown dramatic results in its ability to reduce burglaries.
You can easily and quickly participate in Operation ID by simply following these steps:
- Purchase an electric engraving tool or contact your Longview Police Department (LPD) Block Watch coordinator to make arrangements to borrow one.
- Check to see if your local Block Watch group is participating in Operation ID so they may be able to assist you in marking your valuables.
- Engrave all articles of value, especially those most likely to be stolen: i.e. stereos, televisions, appliances, DVD players, tools, etc.
- Engrave your Driver’s License Number (WADL), Identification Number (WAID) or Tax Identification Number (WATX) on your property. Do not use your Social Security number! An example of your driver’s license number should look like this: WADL-PUBLIJQ50DLI
- While marking your property, make a list of all valuables. List the brand name, model, serial number and the date purchased, along with the value. Record information on the attached inventory form, make a duplicate and keep it in a safe place away from the home. When reporting thefts, this information is crucial in identifying items as being yours and listing the items as stolen in local and national computer databases.
- Displaying Operation ID warning stickers on property and in windows to advertise you have marked your property. This acts as a deterrent to the burglar because marked items are harder to get rid of.
- Whenever possible, mark your valuables as suggested in this section. Some of your valuables, because of their size and nature, will require special care in marking or alternative methods of marking to prevent damage to the article.
- Large valuables and items such as televisions, DVD players, stereos, etc. should be marked on the back side, upper right corner.
- Furniture should be marked on the bottom right-hand side.
- Bicycles should be marked on the sprockets or registered at the LPD’s Highland Satellite Office (216 30th Avenue, Suite C), Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Bike registration is free to city residents and includes permanently stamping a four-digit number into the bike’s frame and applying a sticker, readily identifying the bike as registered.
- Smaller items: Special care must be taken when marking small electrical items such as digital watches. You should not use an engraver tool with a vibrating marker, as it might cause damage to the mechanism.
- Other rare items such as stamps, coins, antiques, etc., should not be marked if doing so would destroy or decrease their value. These items may be photographed or videotaped and kept along with the property inventory form, for proof of ownership.
- Do not use invisible marking pens. Police do not have the equipment necessary to
readyour identifying marks.
- Never display warning stickers unless you have actually marked your property.
- Complete your marking and return the engraver quickly so others may borrow it.
- Always have a record of your property and keep it in a safe place. Take photographs of items you cannot engrave and keep them in a safe place with your written records. If you choose to have a video of your property made, make sure you secure the copy of the video.
- If you move out of state, you don’t have to re-engrave your property with your new driver’s license number. If your items are stolen, call the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington and provide them with your new address, so you can be located if your items are recovered.
- If you decide to sell engraved property, draw a single line through your number and suggest that the new owner engrave their number next to it.
- Contact your Block Watch Captain or Block Watch coordinator at 360-442-5850. They will supply you with warning stickers to place in your exterior doors and windows.