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Discussion Starter #1
With so many bike thefts being reported lately I'm reminded of a practice I've been slacking on lately: Marking my stuff.



On two occasions this has resulted in justice when my stuff was swiped. Once when one of my cars was stolen. Months later a chop shop was busted and the only trace of my car was my fan blade. I had taken the time to mark that stupid aftermarket fan blade and the cops were able to contact me. That added another year to the bad guy's sentence.



The other time was when my work truck was broken into. I had the pure joy of busting and arresting the bad guy personally when he tried to sell me my own, clearly marked stuff at a swap meet.



Anyway, I own an assortment of electric pencils and letter/number stamps. They're useful for marking the insides of valve covers with valve settings and such, and whenever I have parts removed from my stuff I try to mark them with my personal contact info in non-visible areas. Sometimes if there's room I even mark them "Stolen From x _________ " to plant the seed. Good luck fencing my stuff, cuz my name's all over it.



Electric pencils will mark aluminum, steel, plastic and even glass if you're careful. Number/letter stamps do a slightly better job on steel.



Don't use your social security number. Even L.E.O.'s can't easily match a social to a name due to the privacy laws. Use your name and address, VIN number or plate number including state, something easily connected to you. With things like eBay and Craigslist being so prevalent these days as the prime outlets for parting out and fencing stolen stuff you don't want to make it difficult for private parties to find you, either. You never know when some honest soul might unwittingly buy your stuff, then get suspicious when he sees your info scrawled all over it. He may contact you.



Not everyone's into it, but it only takes a few seconds with an electric pencil. The two events I cited above were 30 years apart, but I think it was worth it.



I recently sold a bike to a guy. A few weeks later he started doing maintenence. I told him about the I.D. marks when I sold him the bike, but I guess he never took it in. He called me back giggling. "Dood, did you mark EVERY part on this bike?". lol. Point being he had to take it apart to notice. I had marked the inside of the air filter housing cover, the oil filter bolt, the carb float bowl and and anything else I'd ever had occasion to remove over time.
 

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That is very sound advice. I will definitely take that into consideration. They say you should also take photos of your stuff you marked and where you marked.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you're referring to SelectaMark it's a great system, but probably recognized as such by only a few, like pawn brokers, L.E.O.'s and such. To the average Joe it probably looks like an assembly code er sumpin'. Might get overlooked.



It's extra insurance. But I'd still scrawl my info on there if I could, just in case some honest citizen wants to do the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You really should get out more
 

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I've gone back and forth on this. I used to mark everything. I've never had anything I marked stolen and returned. I do think that even people who steal don't want things that have someone else's name on it.



I heard a story of a guy that came home to find everything that was marked in a pile in the living room. Everything that wasn't marked was gone.



I have had things that I misplaced returned to me only because I had my name on it. I am still using a pocket calculator I bought around 1980.



There have been some things I decided I don't want anymore and sold with my name engraved in very obvious places. It definitely lessens the re-sale value.



I have used demarko's method only once, when I bought the property for my house. Went several times to cover the perimeter.



Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don't let Demarko mark your stuff.



Vegetation is pretty sparse where he lives.



Just sayin'.
 

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Good advice on marking stuff. Ironically I handled something the other day that had my address and phone number for New Orleans, Louisiana, --- the downside is that I left NOLA in 1982 and it might be a hard task to track me to New Mexico because I've lived in 4 cities since leaving New Orleans. But the marking may still dissuade someone from buying the stuff. However in this age of google and computer indexing, even a 25-30 year old address might get some linkage. So . . . mark your stuff if you want it back. Stuff you don't want you don't need to mark. Tom
 

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The dealer I bought mine from uses Data Dots. They put them on the bike in several places. They are mini serialized dots in a glue that can be traced back to the dealer, and me if the bike parts are found.
 
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