Published by FUN MATES PRESS
One of the most effective tools you can use to retrieve property
stolen from your home is a simple electric engraving pen. With
this pen you can inscribe your name or a number on the most
valuable items in and around your home. Before you do this,
check with local police to see which they prefer you use - your
name, driver's license number, social security number or
Engraving your name or number on your valuables helps deter
robbery in two ways: First, you discourage the thief since
marked property is much more difficult to sell. Second, if a
thief does steal your property, it is much easier to catch and
prosecute him when he is discovered with goods in his possession
that are easily identifiable as stolen.
Billions of dollars worth of property stolen each year is never
returned to owners. Why? Because without some identifying mark
or number, the police are unable to verify stolen property, or
trace the owner. More than half the property recovered by the
police is eventually auctioned off or destroyed because the
goods have no identifying characteristics.
In some cities, local law enforcement agencies will lend you and
your neighbors an engraving pen free. In these communities, you
may borrow an engraving tool for several days. If this service
is not available to you, you can purchase an inexpensive
electric pen from your local hardware store for as little as $10
to $15. This small investment could be worth a great deal more
to you at a later date.
Items already marked with a serial number - such as cars, TV's,
cameras, typewriters, radios, stereos, tape decks, appliances,
etc. - may not have to be engraved with your name or personal
number. Check with local police first. If they recommend you
inscribe your identifying mark on serialized items, inscribe
this information just above the manufacturer's serial number.
On unserialized property, inscribe your name or number on the
upper right corner of the rear or backside of each item. Should
you decide to sell or discard the item at a later date, you
should invalidate your number by using the engraving pen or any
sharp tool to draw a single line through your name or number
form upper left to the lower right hand corner. Do not deface
your name or number in any other way. It is also advisable,
when selling "marked" property, to write out a simple receipt
and specifying on it that you were the previous owner and
indicate the name or number used by you. This could prevent
legal hassles for the new owner at a later time.
To protect smaller valuable items such as jewelry, silverware,
etc., it is wise to take a photo of each item. A simple,
instant-type camera photo is sufficient.
After you have marked and/or photographed all your valuables,
make a detailed list of these items and keep it in a safe place.
When new items are acquired, add them to your list. As other
valuables are sold or discarded, cross them off the list.
If you use credit cards, they should also be recorded on your
list. Either copy your account number from each card and
expiration date, or you can have photo copies made for your