Operation Identification ("ID")

Operation Identification is one component of our nation-wide effort to reduce criminal opportunity. The Operation ID program involves inventorying valuables and marking property with an identifying number to discourage burglary and theft and to aid in the recovery and identification of stolen property. Identifiable property is difficult for a burglar or thief to dispose of or re-sell. It is much easier to prosecute a burglar or thief who is caught possessing stolen property which is marked. Property is marked with an electric engraving pen or indelible ink pen for china and silver. The engraving pen is available on loan on a free-of-charge basis through the Merrimack Police Department.

What To Mark

Listed below are frequently stolen items which should be inventoried and marked:

  • Televisions
  • Car and home stereo equipment
  • Radios
  • CB radios
  • Cameras, audio-visual equipment
  • Watches, jewelry
  • Bicycles
  • Tools
  • Wheel covers
  • Sporting equipment
  • Guns
  • Kitchen/Home appliances
  • Typewriters
  • Adding machines
  • Calculators
  • Office equipment

How To Mark

Use your New Hampshire Driver's License number to identify your property or other identifying numbers unique to you. Some suggestions other than your license or State of New Hampshire I.D. number may be your initials and your date of birth or your business state tax number. DO NOT use your social security number as this could allow others who may obtain the number to gain access to other sensitive personal information. Engrave the letters NH before your Driver's License number. In case your property is recovered out-of-state the law enforcement agency can contact the State of New Hampshire's Department of Motor Vehicles to identify your number. A typical marking should or may like this:


If you do not have a driver's license number, you can get an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles. This Non-Driver identification card resembles the New Hampshire Driver's License and can be used for identification throughout the state. To obtain an Identification Card, you must take your Social Security card AND your certified birth certificate. In lieu of the birth certificate, baptismal papers, passport, insurance papers at least two (2) years old bearing the complete date of birth, or the original military papers (DD 214) will be accepted.

Engrave your property on the upper right hand corner of the rear or backside of your property unless that area is a removable part. If that area is removable, mark the item in a place that cannot be dismantled yet is visible for identification. If marking an object will damage, destroy its usefulness, or detract from its value, DO NOT MARK IT ! It is also a good idea to videotape or photograph all items for your records.

If you sell or give away an engraved item, instruct the new owner to mark a solid line through your number and engrave his or her number.

To use the engraver, hold it like an ordinary pencil. Your own handwriting or printing style works best. Guide the engraver across the item to he marked.

For valuable items that cannot be marked, such as crystal, some pieces of silver, artworks, jewelry, china, antiques, a good photograph should be taken. On artwork note the dimension, type medium (oil, acrylic), surface (canvas, wood), artist, title and description.

Permanent Records

Use the list in this pamphlet to make a permanent record of your engraved valuables. Keep this list in a safe place. Record what the item is, the make, the model number and serial number. For guns, be sure to include in the description the caliber, barrel length, grips, sights and color.

Warning Decal

Once you have marked your property and recorded the essential serial numbers and descriptions, display warning decals available generally through most department or electronic stores to warn all potential criminals that your valuables have been marked for identification and are traceable.