The possibilities of Operation ID

Operation ID could have decreased the 200 thefts, missing or lost property reports on Florida A&M University’s campus last year.

Operation ID is a nationwide program that provides an easy way to identify stolen property.

Valuable items, such as such as iPods, Cellular phones, cameras, graphing calculators, laptops, computers, televisions, and videos game systems are engraved with an Owner Applied Number.

Each number is unique to individuals participating in the program.

“If used consistently, it can help reduce crime by reducing the profit made from stolen goods,” said Sgt. Sherri Luke, Florida A&M’s crime prevention officer. “Thieves don’t want to steal items that they cannot easily sell.”

Most of the 200 reports filed last year involved students leaving their property unattended.

“Crimes of opportunity are one of the highest and most avoidable crimes on campus,” said Luke.

FAMU’s Police Department recommends that participants do not use social security or driver’s license numbers. Numbers should be complex and something not easily recognizable for others.

Most students do not have the serial numbers of the items they bring to campus, so if they are stolen they are not able to be traced. If an owner applied number is known it can be entered into the system and traced if found or pawned.

“I have never kept up with the serial number on products that I have,” said Tyrei Johnson, a fourth-year criminal justice student of Tallahassee. I will definitely be participating in this program. It is reassuring, especially since I have roommates.”

Although the program was introduced to FAMU in 2003, many students are unaware of its existence.

Some students are interested in the program and will be contacting the Department of Public Safety for more information.

“I don’t recall hearing about this program during orientation,” said Eric Leeks, a second-year music student from Tampa. “I wish I would have known because I have had something stolen from me before. I will definitely be signing up.”

The process of obtaining an OAN is simple. Students and faculty must fill out an application and use the provided engraver to engrave an OAN to their item.  Engraving is done at the FAMU Welcome Center, located on the corner of Wahnish and Gamble across from the FAMU Student Service Center.

For more information, contact Sgt. Sherri Luke, at 850-599-3256.