MTSU Police Start Operation ID To Help Find Stolen Items - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

MTSU Police Start Operation ID To Help Find Stolen Items

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by Chris Cannon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Campus police at Middle Tennessee State University want to help theft victims get their stolen property back with a program called Operation ID.

There were 261 reported theft cases on the MTSU campus in 2011. Police believe the actual number of thefts is much higher. Less than 6% percent on those cases were solved.

"It's costing our students, faculty and staff a lot of money," said Officer John Blair from the MTSU Police Department.

Blair spearheaded the effort to bring Operation ID to campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged provide pertinent information about their valuables and the police department keeps that information on file.

When an item is reported stolen officers have a complete list of identifiable information they can work from if that property is recovered.

But officers knew getting students to participate would be difficult, so they came up with a plan.

"Go to every single residence hall, knock on every single door and try to get them to sign up," Blair explained.

The officers helped willing students fill out the paperwork that documented their property. It was a lot of work, but those officers registered nearly 1,000 items.

"There are several officers who wound up having very sore knuckles after three of four days of this," Blair said.

The program is free and officers will come to your location on campus to document your property. You just have to contact the police department at 615- 898-2424.

Many times the officers are able to engrave your information on the property, making it that much easier to identify.

"I would love to be able to push this to where we can get all 26,000 that go here to MTSU registering their items so we can always find their items and always get them back for them," said Blair.

Since the program started one month ago MTSU Police have recovered six stolen items. That is nearly half the amount recovered in all of 2011.

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com

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