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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Guides and Tips > Safeguarding your Personal Property


Guides and Tips

Safeguarding your Personal Property

Programs to help safeguard your personal property. 

Property Identification Programs to Safeguard Property - provided by the Columbia University Department of Public Safety, and available to TC community members:

Operation ID

Columbia participates in this nationwide program that aims to deter theft by permanently identifying valuables. The Department will mark valuable property with an indelible, inconspicuous, specially assigned number. It is recommended that you retain a photograph of anything that cannot be engraved and an up-to-date property inventory with model and serial numbers.

Operation Blue Light

This program allows Public Safety personnel to mark property with an invisible ink discernible under a special light.

PC Phone Home This innovative program is available to all members of the Columbia community. It allows authorities to locate a lost or stolen computer by identifying its location when the machine is connected to the Internet. This program is effective in any location, worldwide.

Stop Theft Tags

These tags possess a unique ID number that is entered into the STOPTHEFT database. This allows lost or stolen property to be reunited with its owner.

Bicycle Registration

The Department of Public Safety provides free registration for all bicycles. A unique ID number is applied to the bicycle and registered with the NYPD. A permanent decal is affixed to the bicycle.

Auto VIN Etching

Unique vehicle identification numbers (VIN) are etched into a car’s windows. This program reduces the risk of the vehicle’s being stolen by making the window glass traceable. It also aids police in recovering stolen vehicles by making them identifiable and can result in reduced insurance premiums.