Keep your valuables safe and secure
by Ed Wendell
Apr 24, 2013 | 732 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 102nd Precinct and the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association are partnering up to help protect your valuables through Operation ID, a multifaceted program which is offered free of charge by the New York City Police Department.

“Operation ID: Woodhaven” will take place this Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the office of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association, 84-20 Jamaica Avenue.

The program involves engraving a serial number on your portable valuables such as bicycles, cell phones, laptops, iPads, and iPhones, and registering the information with the NYPD. And as a bonus, you will be able to sign up your automobile in your choice of free anti-theft programs.

There are a few really good, simple reasons you should take a few moments this Saturday to take part in Operation ID: Woodhaven, including the fact that marked property is more difficult for a thief to sell, and recovered property can easily be identified and returned to the rightful owner.

In recent years, portable valuables such as cell phones and laptops have become popular targets of thieves. At the WRBA we’ve heard tales of the NYPD busting thieves only to find a cache of stolen items that, because they are unidentifiable, will probably sit in a storage room.

We have also heard many stories from parents whose children have had these items stolen and, unfortunately, we rarely (if ever) hear tales of those items being returned.

Operation ID: Woodhaven adjusts the odds in your favor and increases the chances that your stolen goods may be returned to you. And with warmer weather coming and more people out and about on their bicycles, thieves will be salivating at the chance to ride away with a free bike.

If you are out riding your bike this Saturday, stop by and get your bicycle registered. It takes just a few minutes.

Here is one thing that I can guarantee you. If you read this article and do not take advantage of this free program, if you are victimized by a thief you will be kicking yourself and asking why you didn’t take just a few moments to take part in Operation ID: Woodhaven.

As a bonus, you will also be able to register your autos in the HEAT and CAT programs. When you register for these programs you will get a decal which will be affixed to your vehicle's rear window.

Combat Auto Theft (CAT) is a yellow decal that means your car is generally not used between the overnight hours of 1 to 5 a.m. If the NYPD sees a car with that sticker on the road between those hours, they have permission to question the driver to ensure ownership.

There is a CAT Program for Commuters which operates under the same principle, except that the yellow sticker has a black border which means that the car is generally parked during the daytime hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

I know what you are thinking: What if you are off or on vacation and you are driving around and get stopped by the NYPD? You show them your ID and carry on, secure in the knowledge that had your car been stolen it would now be in the process of being returned to you.

Help End Auto Theft (HEAT) is a program predicated on the sad statistic that the majority of persons arrested for auto theft are less than 25 years of age. To register in the HEAT program, you must be over 40 years old, and you will sign a waiver that no persons under 25 will be driving your vehicle and you will get a bright red decal.

If a young person is driving a car with that sticker, it will indicate to the NYPD that it may be a stolen vehicle and that they should pull it over and question the driver.

In addition to these anti-theft measures, you will also be able to make an appointment to get your vehicle etched. It's a fast and easy process and the 102nd Precinct will make an appointment to come to your house and etch your VIN (vehicle identification number) on all of your automobile’s windows.

This is a highly successful program that not only helps the NYPD return stolen cars and parts to their rightful owners, it also serves to deter car thieves. These thieves are smart enough to look for a VIN etching and, once they spot it, are very likely to move on to a vehicle which hasn’t been marked.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call (718) 296-3735 and leave a message.

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John Fitzgerald
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April 26, 2013
Wow does this ever smack of a Government overreach. Do you really think the NYPD is going looking for your bike or cell phone because it has a tag on it? I guess now that they have the Sheeple seperating their garbage in to three bags that all end up in the same landfill and turning in their legal arms, next you will register your property. What a waste of time and taxpayer dollars, but hey it's all about control and behavior modification. Grow a pair and take responsibility for yourselves.