NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A unique tracking initiative by the Metro Nashville Police Department is being implemented in south Nashville to help prevent residential burglaries.
The "Mark It" program was introduced by Lieutenant John Batty of the South Police Precinct. The goal is for neighbors to mark their property with a specific code to the address that it belongs to with an ultraviolet marker in case it is stolen.
"This is a safe and easy way to mark your property, things like appliances, computers and tools," Lt. Batty told NewsChannel 5. "Marked property is often harder to dispose of by thieves, so we're warning prospective burglars that your property in the neighborhood is marked."
Batty pushed for the idea after reviewing other cities in the country, including Baltimore and Washington D.C., that have a similar program. He hopes that it will alert would-be thieves that they can be caught.
"So if you get stopped by the police, they can see the ultraviolet marks, pawnshops can see the marks, detectives and anybody trying to trace the property," Batty added.
Currently, there are only two neighborhoods in south Nashville where "Mark It" is available: Fairlane Park Neighborhood and South Tusculum Area Residence. Residents of 25 homes who already participate have a decal on their front and back windows.
Police also have signs that say "Burglars Be Warned" in parts of South Tusculum Area Residence to notify that the neighborhood marks property. Signs will soon come to the Fairlane Park Neighborhood.
South Nashville residents like Harry Rauschenberger like the initiative.
"It's probably a good idea because you might catch some people," Rauschenberger said.
The 82-year-old resident had his garage burglarized three times and stole hundreds of dollars worht of tools. He finally secured the door several weeks ago.
"You feel violated. They just kicked in the door and you don't know their missing until you use them and they're not there," Rauschenberger said.
In 2017, there were 608 residential burglaries in the south Nashville area. By 2018, the total dropped to 475. There have been 118 residential burglaries in 2019 so far.
Residents who live in the two neighborhoods and want to join for free can call the South Police Precinct at 615-862-7744.