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Norwell Police Operation Identification Program


What is Operation Identification?
Operation Identification is a national program designed to discourage the theft of valuables from your home or business. This is achieved by placing an identifying mark on your valuable items that could be stolen. Participating in this program will help decrease the likelihood of your property being stolen and increase the chances of your property being recovered and returned to you. This identification can give the Police a greater chance of tracing the property back to the thief and lead to their prosecution. 
This program requires a small amount of time and effort on your part. It involves marking and then inventorying your property. Identifying markings deters a market for the stolen items. Valuables marked conspicuously with your driver’s license number or name and address make the items less resalable. Operation Identification also works when your property is recovered and lets you identify it so it can be returned to you.
What Number to Use  
Use the Personal Property Inventory Form that you can download from here or an available copy at the Norwell Police Department. List all your important valuables by description (brand, model, color, size, etc.). Also note the location where you have engraved your personal identification mark. The most effective number is your State Driver’s License Number. Put the abbreviation of the state it was issued in after the number (e.g.: S12345678 MA). Police across the country have access to this number through state motor vehicle records. DO NOT USE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!
What to Mark and How
An engraver will mark steel, plastic, wood, or any hard surface. No special skills are needed, just use it like you would a pen or pencil. Do not press down on the engraver; allow the engraver to etch smooth and even lines. DO NOT ENGRAVE ON REMOVABLE PARTS such as doors, lids, plates, etc. If possible, pick a place close to the object’s serial number.
Hard Objects
For bicycles, radios, stereos, televisions, cameras, computers, electronics, tools, sporting goods and appliances, use the engraver to mark your identification on a conspicuous and permanent part of the item. Metal or plastic parts are best for making a smooth and legible mark.
Soft Objects
Leather, fiberboard, or cloth items can be marked with a UV security marking pen or a contrasting magic marker. It is best to engrave items because UV markings and magic marker fade over time and are not permanent.
Unmarkable Items
A jeweler may engrave jewelry and antiques. For musical instruments, valuables, etc., place the object against a plain background. Include a ruler for scale size and a label with your identification number. Take several pictures at different angles and note any distinguishing marks. Label the slides or keep them on a digital storage device and keep it with your Property Inventory Forms. 
Once your property has been marked and your Property Inventory Forms are filled out, keep the forms in a safe and secure place. DO NOT SEND COPIES TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. Obtain Operation Identification stickers at the Norwell Police Department. Display the Operation Identification stickers on any doors and windows that may 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 to re-sell if it is stolen.   
Insurance and Other Considerations
Insurance is recommended for everyone. Replacement value insurance is important and can help reimburse the current cost of the item rather than a depreciation value. If you rent a home, renters insurance may be obtained to cover your items. Landlords only have insurance to cover the building not your personal property. 
Remember to update your Property Inventory Forms (to include updated photos) and update all information with the insurance company. These steps will help to keep your new items insured in the event they are stolen.  
If you have any questions or wish to use the department’s engraver, please contact Officer Sean Sutton, Crime Prevention Officer, at 781-659-7979.
“Burglary is the most frequently committed crime in the United States. By participating in Operation Identification you are taking one important step to protect your possessions from burglary and theft.”


Norwell Police Department

   300A washington Street
  Norwell,  Massachusetts  02061
  Theodore Ross, Chief
Carol Brzuszek, Deputy Chief
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