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Mark Your Property for Deterence and Recovery

Aug 17, 2007
In only 9% of cases is stolen property returned to its rightful owner. Sometimes this is because burglars will often sell on items quickly and they become untraceable. Other times it is because once articles are recovered by the police it is difficult to find out who they belonged to in the first place.

Marking your property is one way of helping the police pass recovered items back to their rightful owners, and also because it deters potential thieves.

An item that has been marked with a postcode is harder to sell on because potential buyers will be put off by the fact that it can be traced back to its original owner, and therefore deters a burglar from taking it in the first place.

There are two main forms of property marking - 1. permanent marking and 2. invisible marking.

The first involves engraving or "punching" your possessions with your postcode, number of your property, or the first two letters of your property's name. Inexpensive permanent marketing kits can be bought from most DIY stores. Engraving is done with a fine drill or sharp-pointed tool, and use a template or stencil to keep it neat and tidy. Punching is a form of permanent marking that is done with a hammer and a set of punches bearing numbers and letters. This is good to do on sturdy metal objects such as bicycles and mowers. However, avoid doing this on aluminimum objects as they will get easily damaged.

Engraving or punching is the preferred method of marking as it is permenant and visible. However, not all objects can be permenently marked so invisible marking can be used. This involves using an ultraviolet marker to again mark your postcode and house number or name. Invisible markings fade with time so make sure you regularly re-mark your items and update your possessions if and when you move house.

Ultraviolet markings are discreet and will only show up under a special ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet markers are inexpensive and can even be borrowed from some police forces. Because the markings can not be seen by a burglar, it is important to display stickers that let any potential thief know that possessions in that property have been marked. These sometimes come with the ultraviolet marker sets and can also be obtained from your local police force.

As mentioned elsewhere on this website, also keep an inventory of your property along with relevant descriptions and serial numbers. Where possible take photos of your possessions so that in the event of a burglary you can give the police a clear description of what has been taken. This will also assist the police in returning your property back to you if it is recovered and will help you replace any items which are not.
About the Author
Home Secured discusses home security options for all households regardless of what type of property you live in. Find out more about securing your home to keep you, your family and your possessions safe at http://www.home-secured.com .
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