Crime Prevention begins with you. Operation Identification is a great place to start!

A nationwide crime prevention program called Operation Identification encourages everyone to mark their valuables to discourage theft, make stolen goods traceable and increase the chances of recovery.

Step 1. Mark your property

Mark your property with your drivers license number and two digit state code (never use a Social Security Number). Law enforcement agencies across the country have access to state motor vehicle records and will use this number to identify you as the property owner. Even if your item has a serial number, mark it with your personalized ID code. A thief is less likely to steal items which have been marked. Marked items are traceable and make a thief more vulnerable to being caught and prosecuted.

YOUR PERSONALIZED ID CODE is your drivers license number followed by the 2-digit state code: RL12345OH

What to Mark and How:
  • Hard Objects such as computers, bicycles, radios, stereos, TV's, cameras, laptops, I-Pods, watches, sporting goods, tools and appliances - use an engraving tool to mark your identification number on a conspicuous, permanent part of the item. Then engrave the number again in a less obvious place. Metal or plastic parts are best for marking a smooth legible mark.
  • Small or Unmarkable Items such as jewelry, musical instruments, antiques, glassware -- place the object against a plain background and take several color photographs from different angles. Include a ruler in the picture for scale. Label the photos and keep them with an inventory record.
  • Soft or Porous Objects such as leather, fiberboard, cloth -- use a permanent ink marker to write your identification number on a permanent part of the item. Some fiberboards may be hard enough to use an engraving tool.

Call the SSU Department of Public Safety and ask about borrowing the electric engraving tool. There is no charge to use the engraver, however it must be returned within forty-eight hours. Engravers are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased at any hardware or department store.

Step 2. Inventory your property

Inventory your property by using the Property Protection Form (PDF) and make a list of all your valuables, including IPods, GPS, CD players, stereos, TV's, computers, laptops, cell phones, radios, backpacks and any other belongings. Include a full description of the item including color, make, model, year of manufacture, serial numbers and any other identifiers, including any added engraving. Make copies of your list and store it in two or more secure locations, such as a safe, locked drawer or cabinet. If you have any questions filling out your inventory list or locating identifiers, contact the Department at (740) 351-3243.


Report any theft of your belongings immediately to the SSU Department of Public Safety at (740) 351-3243. Reporting your loss can increase the chances of recovering your property. In addition, every criminal incident is listed in our Crime Log (PDF), which alerts the campus community.