Stolen and lost property recovered by Caddo sheriff's deputies fill the department's property room and warehouse. Sheriff Steve Prator said he'd rather return the items than auction them, but without positive proof of ownership that would be hard to do.
That's why the sheriff offers Operation Identification, a crime prevention program that discourages burglary by engraving valuables with personal identification numbers.
"I strongly encourage residents to take advantage of this program and mark their valuables," Prator said. "Not only will Operation Identification lessen the chance of your property being stolen, but if this does occur, the program still works for you. We'll have a greater chance of tracing your property and returning your possessions."
To participate in Operation Identification, borrow an electronic engraver pencil from any sheriff's office substation in Oil City, Keithville, 4910 North Market in Shreveport, or the sheriff's Community Programs Office on Grimmett Drive. Mark your valuables in a permanently affixed place using your LA driver's license number. Be sure to include your state's abbreviation. For example: LA123456. Do not use your social security number, which can't be traced by law enforcement.
When all of your property has been marked, compile an itemized list of your valuables on a brochure obtained from the sheriff's office. Keep the list with your important papers. When you return the engraver, you'll receive two window decals to display at your home, warning criminals that you participate in Operation Identification.
"Permanently marked property is more difficult for burglars to dispose of. It reduces the resale value," Prator said. "If a thief knows the property in your home has been marked, it's unlikely he'll select you as a target."
For more information, call Community Programs at 681-0875.