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Marking property means better chance of retrieval

Police Beat

ID Your Personal Property

Every year millions of dollars worth of property that is recovered by law enforcement agencies is not returned to the owners.

The problem is lack of identification. When unmarked stolen property is recovered outside the area in which a theft occurred, the chance of having it traced back to you is extremely small if it is not identifiable.

Applying proper identification on your property allows local, state and national law enforcement computer networks to trace your property back to you in a matter of seconds.

How To Engrave Valuables

If your valuable item does not have a serial number attached to it you can create your own number, which is called an owner applied number (OAN). Your OAN can then be engraved on valuables that do not have their own serial numbers, which can be later used to trace the item back to you.

Create a consistent number that you can engrave on your valuable item, for example: OR123456

DO NOT USE personal information as OAN's such as social security numbers, driver's license number, dates of birth, phone numbers or addresses, due to the high rate of identity theft.

Type of Engraving Tools

1. Electric vibrating engraver. (Use on plastic, metal and wood)

2. Diamond tip pen. (Use on plastic, metal, and wood)

3. Laundry marking pen. (Use on clothes and wood)

Photographing Valuables

Taking photographs or video taping valuables is recommended and /or having certain values appraised is also important for insurance purposes.

Inventory List

Create an inventory list of all your valuables as you engrave and/or photograph/video tape and store the photos/video tape and inventory list in a safe place.

If valuables are stolen immediately call the police and report your loss. Many times thieves resell, pawn or move stolen items out of state within just a few days.

We appreciate your assistance as the eyes of the community. Your timely call to police dispatch (503-629-0111 or 911) can make all the difference between catching the suspect or them getting away.

Detective Sergeant Onchi is the PIO for the City of Sherwood and the Sherwood Police Department.