Operation Identification is designed to discourage theft.  Thefts of unsecured property in residence halls, offices and areas shared by our Cornell community (IE:  library, commons) occur on campus.  Stolen goods are more difficult to sell when they have been marked and can be identified. Operation Identification also assists the police in identifying stolen property.  Stolen items of value are entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), making information available to other police agencies.  Help protect your personal property by joining Operation Identification and “PIN your property”.

What is a PIN?

  • PIN is a personalized identification number that is used to distinguish your valuables for identification purposes.  Your PIN is your driver’s license number and two-state abbreviation. 

How it works:

  • Engrave your PIN on all your valuables.  Take your valuables to Campus Safety to engrave or make arrangements with your Assistant Director of Residence Life for supervised use of the engraver (for larger valuables).  Engraved items can include:   desk and laptop computers, cell phones, radios, TVs, stereos,  golf clubs, bicycles, appliances, tools and any portable items that might be stolen
  • Engrave your PIN in an obvious place so the number can be seen at a quick glance.  For further protection, engrave a second hidden PIN. 
  • Keep an inventory record of all your valuables; including make, model, serial numbers, PIN and description, as well as location(s) engraved.  Put this list in a safe place.  If you are burglarized, the list can help you when you report the crime to the Campus Safety Department, the Mt. Vernon Police Department and your insurance company.
  • If you feel the value of your property would be severely reduced if it were engraved, take photographs instead and file these photographs along with a description of the item(s), noting all unique characteristic, such as serial numbers, model, make, etc.

Reasons for engraving your property with a PIN:

  • When you engrave your property you are increasing your chances of having the property recovered if it is stolen.  When a police department cannot prove ownership of recovered property the property is held for a period of time and then disposed of in accordance with the law.
  • Engraved property can reduce the “attractiveness” for would-be thieves to steal and sell. 
  • Marking items with your PIN assists the owner in retrieving loaned, borrowed or misplaced items if ownership questions arise.