Since 2011, the Sheriff’s Office has investigated 92 burglaries, with 16 of those occurring this year involving a group of burglars from Broward traveling to Martin County to break into homes. (FILE PHOTO)
Photographer: Jeff Skrzypek, WPTV
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Being caught in the act is a thief's greatest risk, the second being caught "red-handed" with the the property they have stolen.
With modern mass-produced appliances, electronics and products looking identical, the police have no way of identifying recovered property as stolen goods unless the serial number is available or the item has been marked with a property owner's unique number.
Every year, law enforcement agencies across the country auction millions of dollars worth of recovered lost or stolen property because of lack of identification. If an item has been marked, however, the information can be entered into state and national law enforcement computer networks to trace these goods in any matter of seconds and the owner can be identified.
This knowledge alone may act as a major deterrent to a potential thief since items that can be traced back to their original owner's bring a lower price on the street.
Here are a few tips to help protect your property and assist law enforcement in the recovery if items are stolen.
Will Operation Identification really deter a thief?
Some people have questioned the effectiveness of marking valuable property. Others believe that if a thief knows the property in a home is clearly marked the thief is unlikely to select that home as a target. Further, it is believed that marked property has a reduced resale value to the "fence" making that property less attractive, which is another very valuable benefit of the marking and recording of property descriptions and serial numbers other than for insurance purposes.
This information is very vital in order to enter the stolen item into the NCIC computer system and to aid identification in case of recovery. Finally another beneficial advantage of marking your property is that it sensitizes you to participate in other good security practices and measures. The individual who participates in this program will usually be the same person who practices other good crime prevention habits such as being careful with keys, locking doors and windows, securing property, etc.
Send questions about crime prevention or the Plantation Police Department to Officer Bob Wilkins at email@example.com
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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