Stop a Thief: How To Protect Yourself & Valuables Against Theft

  • Be sure to always mark you valuables. Talk with the local police department to determine what identification information they would need should your items be stolen. You can use a cheap electric engraving pen to mark your items quickly. You can include your name or driver’s license number on the items. If your item is clearly marked, thieves may be less likely to take it. Any items that can be easily identified will be more difficult for them to sell on the street.


  • When you do mark your items, if they’re stolen the police will be able to return them to you if the thief is caught. If you don’t mark your items they may be sold at police public sale auctions if they’re found.


  • Some police departments have anti-theft programs that allow you to borrow an engraver to mark your valuables. This can help you avoid having to purchase one.


  • Some electronics have a manufacturer's serial number displayed on them so be sure to write these numbers down in case they are stolen. If no serial number is shown, mark the item.


  • If you choose to sell something you’ve marked, be sure to mark out your information. Always write your name on the bill of sale so the police would know you chose to sell the item if they apprehend a thief with it.


  • If items like jewelry are too small to mark, take pictures of your inventory. Digital cameras are great for this task but instant photo cameras are best because they can’t be retouched.


  • Keep a list of every credit card issued in your name (and account numbers that go with them) in case you need to report them stolen.


  • Never carry large amounts of cash with you and always be aware of your surroundings and those hanging around you.