Operation Identification

Operation Identification is a program to prevent theft and burglary by permanently marking and registering valuable property and notifying potential thieves and burglars that this action has been taken. Most sources credit the Chief of Police in Monterey Park, California, with starting this property marking program in 1963. The program was so successful in reducing burglaries that it has spread throughout the country.

Operation Identification Prevents Theft

The program has four major advantages regarding property marked in accordance with the program guides:

  • Deters Crime; thieves and burglars are less likely to steal an item that can be positively identified and that will be difficult to sell.
  • Positive Identification; The owner of stolen or lost property can easily be located through existing records.
  • Helps Criminal Prosecution; the arresting officers can more readily use the stolen property in pursuing the case through the courts.
  • Aids in Recovery; Stolen and/or lost property is more likely to be returned to the owner.

How Items Are Identified

The Crime Prevention Unit will issue an Operation Identification number that is unique to Ocean Isle Beach. This number is known as an Owner Applied Number (OAN) and can be used to identify the property marked with that number from anywhere in the country. Be sure to use all of the letters and numbers assigned to you when marking your property. Be sure to fill out the form provided to you with all the information of the items being that need indentifying.

The Operation Identification number issued is based on the ORI of the police department. The ORI is the computer address for any law enforcement agency in the country that has a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer Security Surveys.

The police department will send an officer to your business/residence to show you ways to increase your security. Doors and locks will be checked for their security, and the officer will give trained advice on how to solve your security needs. Remember, a burglar will only break into an easy target. Captain Ken Bellamy is mainly responsible for conducting security surveys system. The ORI for Ocean Isle Beach Police is NC0100800; additional letter and numbers are added to give a unique personal ID number. An example would be NC0100800BH12345.

How Items Are Marked

There are various ways to mark your personal property, the most common being an electric engraver. If you are going to mark your items be sure to practice using the engraver on something of no value before you actually mark your items of value, there is no eraser! Hold the engraver upright and use slow, smooth strokes.

Property You Should Mark

Mark anything of value that can be marked. If an item is an heirloom or would lose its value if marked with an engraver then DO NOT engrave it! Follow the same procedure you would to have that item insured, photograph it and file that photo with a written description of the item. Be sure to have something else in the photo to show the size of the item.
Request an Officer Mark your property
To set up an appointment for your property to be marked please contact the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department at 910-579-4221. You may also email the crime prevention unit.

Obtaining an Engraver

You may borrow an engraver, at no cost, from the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department.

Additional Information

If you have any questions you may e-mail the Crime Prevention Unit or call them at (910) 579-4221. You may also view the attached brochure for addition information.