Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Importance of Property Marking


Some of you might ask what this means. Well, it means literally marking your possessions. Remember when you were a kid and you didn't want any other kid to take your toy? Most of us would place our initials on it with a scratch or a marker. Well that is what I am referring to.

There always have and always will be a thief among us and the best way to deter someone from stealing your stuff is to mark it. Burglars know that they will not be able to resell something that has been marked with an address or name. Police can better identify a stolen item if it has been marked previously by it's owner before a thief got a hold of it.

Of course the best way to mark an item from you home or office is not by using a knife, burning it or using a hammer. We are adults and can use many tools available with which we can mark our valuables. The best place to mark your belongings is obviously underneath or behind the object, so it's not in plain site. If you have an antique piece of furniture for example, you need to be careful where you mark it and if the mark will affect it's value... Marking does not only apply to interior objects, you should also consider marking your outdoor tools like lawnmowers and weed wackers. These types of items are more often stolen than interior belongings and very popular with petty thiefs.

Police say that there are two main types of property marking: the first is known as permanent marking, when you engrave or "punch" your property with your street number and postal code. The second method is making an invisible marking. This is best for antiques or valuable property that would lose value if spoiled by permanent marking. Police usually check stolen property with a special ultra-violet lamp, so an ultra-violet (UV) marking pen should be used. If you use this UV type of marking, you need to know that it will fade with time and it will need to be renewed every so often. Police actually can give you a sticker that reads, "property in this home has been marked". Or you can make one up yourself and place it by your home alarm sticker or anywhere you think would be appropriate. The bad thing about using UV markings though, is that they can be removed with special solvents that can be bought by burglars. But if they do not know the mark is there, they won't know to erase it!

Another way people are keeping track of their home or office things is by using a camera or video recorder. It's a good idea to take a picture or video of these items where they are positioned in your home or office. This will prove that they were within your personal possessions at home or in your place of work.

Lastly, we all know, of course, to keep all our receipts for proof of ownership and you can also write the serial numbers on each receipt if applicable.
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