Prevention Handbook

Sheriff's Department Block Watch Programs

Operation Identification is a part of the Block Watch program that is specifically designed to discourage theft and provide a means of easy identification if your property is stolen or lost. Through the program, you mark your property with your driver's license number or Washington State identification number and create an inventory.

Identifying your property serves many purposes. First, it may discourage thieves; marked property is hard to dispose of because it is easier to trace. Second, if property is stolen and recovered, proper identification makes it easier for police to return it to its rightful owner. Finally, having marked and inventoried property can ease the process of filing insurance claims after a loss.

How do I participate?

Check with your local KCSO precinct or storefront, or your local police department. They may have an engraver you can borrow. Hardware stores and many King County libraries also rent or loan engravers.
The engraver marks wood, metal, and plastic.

Your local crime prevention officer can give you inventory forms to record your marked property.

Keep one copy for yourself in a safe place (e.g., a safe deposit box) and store a second copy with a friend or neighbor. Don?t store the list on your computer; it may be stolen as well.

After you engrave your property and complete the inventory, the officer will give you "Operation ID" warning stickers to display on your home to deter thieves.

If sixty percent of the homes in your Block Watch participate in the Operation Identification program, you may purchase the large "Block Watch" signs for your neighborhood.