From The Office of Sheriff Brian Hawthorne 


418611_391954274152906_582258492_nSheriff Hawthorne reports that it is that time of year again: school is out, temperatures are up, and so are the burglaries. Sheriff Hawthorne reminds us that a program Called “Operation Identification” is another one of the areas in which the Neighborhood Watch Program has been successful. This program is designed to discourage burglary and the theft of valuables from your home or business. The program provides a way for you and law enforcement officials to easily identify ownership of stolen property.

The first thing to do is permanently engrave your state driver’s license number (or, if you do not drive, an identification number which can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles) on a permanent part of your property, not on an easily removed part.

You may ask why you should engrave your identification number?  Property is stolen so it can be resold for cash. If you engrave your items, the burglar will have difficulty selling them to his middleman or fence. He can’t take them to a swap meet or pawn shop. As a stolen item its market value is low to start with, but engraving it with an ID number makes it worth only 10% of even that.  Marking property with an identifying number will discourage burglary and thefts because thieves are far more likely to be convicted if caught with engraved property in their possession. If the burglar knows all the valuables in your home are marked, he is likely to look for an easier and more profitable victim.  Another good point to consider:  When unmarked stolen property istaken into custody, it cannot be traced and returned to you.

You do NOT want to engrave the following: Jewelry, antiques, silver, artwork, or heirlooms. Stamps and coins need to be photographed or videoed. When photographing them, prop your driver’s license up against them or alongside of them so you tie ownership to the items in case of theft or burglary. Next, keep a list of these items and the video or photos of your property in a safe place with your written records such as copies of your tax returns, your insurance policies and other legal documents. 

Sheriff Hawthorne encourages all of Chambers County to get involved with a Neighborhood Watch program. If you are interested in the Operation Identification and other programs of Neighborhood Watch please contact the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office at 409-267-2500 or email and we will gladly visit with you about this and other programs, answer questions, and assist you in any way.