Preventative Programming and Education

A Program Designed to Reduce Theft

Identification can effectively assist in reducing theft on campus. This is accomplished by conspicuously marking each item of personal property with a unique identifier, preferably your driver's license number. This accomplishes the following:

  • Marking property makes stolen goods difficult to sell.
  • Marked property contributes to a higher rate of conviction for those apprehended with it in their possession.
  • Marked property is easier for law enforcement officials to return to the rightful owner if it is lost or stolen.

This system requires a small amount of time and effort on your part, but the property identification and inventory will protect you and your property. The purpose of the inventory record is to give law enforcement officials essential information if you are victimized. This inventory record should be kept in a safe place for quick reference.

Operation Identification

What to Mark and How

For Hard Objects
For hard objects such as computers, bicycles, radios, stereos, TV's, cameras, laptops, I-pods, watches, sporting goods, and appliances use an engraving tool that can be signed out at the Safety & Security Office to mark your identification number on a conspicuous, permanent part of the item. Then engrave the number again in a less obvious place. Metal or plastic parts are best for marking a smooth legible mark.

For Un-markable Items
For unmarkable items such as jewelry, musical instruments, antiques, etc., place the object against a plain background and take several color slides from different angles. Include a ruler in the picture for scale. Label slides and keep them with the inventory record.

For Soft or Porous Objects
For soft or porous objects such as leather, fiberboard, or cloth, use a contrasting magic marker. Note: some fiberboards may be hard enough to take the engraving.

Make Sure All Identifying Marks and Numbers Are Included on the Inventory Record

What Number to Use

Do not use your social security number. It is impossible for law enforcement agencies to trace articles that are marked with this number. The most effective number is your state driver's license number. Law enforcement agencies across the country have access to this number through state motor vehicle records. For all objects, even those with serial numbers, it is best to assign them a particular number. Do this by using your driver's license number and adding an extra number to it.

For example:

Any other items that are assigned numbers would get the next number in sequence (DC 124365879-2, DC 12365879-3, etc.) and numbering would continue in this order. The final digit (item number) is required by the FBI, so that if the item is stolen, it will have a unique number for entry into the National Crime Information System. If you do not have a driver's license, you can engrave your name and address on the items.

The engraver will mark steel, plastic, glass, wood, or any hard surface. It requires no special skill. Just use it as you would a pen or pencil. Your own printing or handwriting is best. Do not press down on the engraver; allow the engraver to etch smooth, even lines. The depth of the engraving and the size of the line can be varied by turning the knob on the engraver. Engravers are available from the Campus Safety & Security Office.

    Tips for Crime Prevention

    The cooperation and involvement of all members of the University community in a Campus Safety & Security program are absolutely essential. Although the campus is reasonably safe, all students, faculty and staff are urged to use good judgment and common sense in the places they go, how they get there, and the times they visit those places.

    In Your Residence Hall

    • Keep your door closed and locked. Be especially sure it is locked when you go to class, whenever you are using the phone, laundry room, or bathroom and when you are sleeping.
    • Avoid being alone with an acquaintance that is intoxicated. Date rape is the most common cause of victimization of women on college campuses. Being alone with an intoxicated person creates a vulnerable situation.
    • Be aware of any suspicious persons and report them at once to the residence hall staff or Campus Safety & Security.
    • Report solicitors who are in the residence hall immediately. Soliciting is not permitted without permission from the Dean of Students Office.
    • Determine who is on the other side of your door before opening it to a caller.
    • Be familiar with residence hall emergency procedures and evacuation routes.
    • Never loan your keys or I.D. access card to anyone, even a friend or roommate. They may not be as careful as you are and they may lose or misplace them just long enough for the wrong person to gain possession of them.
    • If you lose your room key or I.D. access card, report it to Campus Safety & Security immediately so that the room lock can be changed or the access card disabled.
    • Never prop open the door of your room or residence hall entry door for a friend, or delivery person, or for any other reason.
    • Hang up immediately if you receive a nuisance, obscene or prank telephone call. Do not engage in conversation. All University phones may activate the "Call Trace" system. To activate, hang up and then pick up the phone and dial 157 and a recording will announce a successful trace. Document the time of the call and report the incident to Campus Safety & Security.


    • Do not walk alone at night.
    • Walk in well-lighted areas and avoid shortcuts through deserted streets, wooded areas, dark alleys, or parking lots.
    • Don't use the river for a shortcut in winter. Undercurrents can keep the ice thin in spots.
    • Go to a public, populated area if you suspect someone is following you.
    • Never hitchhike. It is not worth the risk!
    • Avoid jogging or biking alone. If you must go by yourself, stay clear of isolated or poorly lit areas. Make sure someone knows you are going and when you will return.

      Property Security

      • Secure your valuables in a safe place and do not keep large amounts of cash in your room.
      • Report the loss of any University key or I.D. access card to your RA or Campus Safety & Security as soon as possible.
      • Do not leave clothing, equipment, or textbooks unattended in public places such as the Fitness Center, cafeteria, Laundry room or library.
      • Identify your books with your name and address on the inside cover and one not-so-obvious place.
      • Check to make sure your family's homeowner's insurance policy covers your possessions while you're away from home. The University insurance does not cover your personal property.
      • Report any crimes, incidents or suspicious activity promptly to Campus Safety & Security.

      Motor Vehicles

      • Always park in a well lit area at night.
      • Lock your car at all times.
      • Never leave your keys in the ignition, even when you may only be gone for a minute.
      • Don't leave packages on the seats or where they are visible. Put valuables out of sight or lock them in the trunk.
      • Take expensive equipment (i.e. Cell Phones) back to your place of residence or lock them in your trunk. Record the serial numbers of such equipment.


      • Always lock your bike securely when it is unattended, even if it's inside a building.
      • Place a chain cable through both wheels of your bicycle, through the frame and a stationary object. If you use a bicycle rack, place the chain or cable through one wheel and the frame.
      • Record the serial number of your bicycle and keep it with your permanent records.
      • Register your bicycle with Campus Safety & Security.

      Holidays and Breaks

      • Close and lock windows.
      • Close curtains and blinds.
      • Take home all valuables you are able. Keep any valuables left behind out of sight, in a closet or locked in a trunk.
      • Secure your bicycle in your room.
      • Unplug all appliances.
      • Make sure that fish and plants are cared for.
      • Lock and bolt the room door.