A major goal of the NYPD is to help prevent crime before it happens. The department provides a number of services to help the general public safeguard their personal property. If you are interested in any of these services, contact your local precinct and ask to speak to the Crime Prevention Officer.
Bicycle Registration Program discourages theft of bicycles by engraving a serial number on the bike in a discreet location and affixing a decal to the bicycle identifying it as registered with the NYPD. If the decal fails to prevent theft, removal of the decal leaves behind the word "void" which alerts police that the bicycle has been stolen. Police are then able to track down the owner through the engraved serial number.
Combat Auto Theft (CAT) allows community members to register their motor vehicles with the NYPD to protect those vehicles from being stolen. When a vehicle is registered, police affix a decal to a rear side window that authorizes police officers to stop the vehicle if it is seen in operation between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. Car owners who do not ordinarily use their vehicles during the hours the program is in effect may find this useful.
Operation Identification participants provide police with the serial numbers of their electronic devices, which are recorded in an NYPD database. If any of the registered items are stolen, police are often able to recover the devices through the recorded serial numbers or through activating locator software built into the device.
VIN Etching Program entails police officers etching a vehicle's identification number onto its windows. The program is a strong deterrent to thieves.