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Operation PC ID

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Imagine what would happen if you lost your personal computer. Not only would you have to deal with the financial expense of replacing it, but you would lose all of the research, schoolwork and other information stored on it. Don’t risk losing yours to theft. Register your computer with the VCU Police Department.

Operation Identification

Operation Identification is a nationally recognized theft prevention program that involves indelibly marking and/or engraving property with traceable ownership information and recording manufacturers’ serial numbers and owner-applied identification information in a property inventory. The VCU Police Department promotes Operation ID to discourage theft and internal losses. Property that has been permanently marked is difficult to pawn or convert to personal use by thieves.

VCU Student Computer Initiative

In conjunction with the VCU Student Computer Initiative, the VCU Police Department has developed Operation PC ID for students and staff to register their computers. All VCU students are required by the VCU Student Computer Initiative to register their computer system with the VCU Police Department and indelibly and clearly mark their equipment with a personally identifiable code to prevent theft.

The information registered by each user is used by the VCU Police Department only; no user information is shared with any other entity. It is recommended you include your MAC address in your registration. For help finding your MAC address, click here.

To register your computer, complete the form on the register/manage your PC page.

Marking your computer for identification

Do not engrave anywhere on your computer. Engraving causes high-speed vibrations that can damage your computer and/or void your warranty.

Personal computers

Using a permanent marker, mark the two-letter abbreviation for your licensing state and your driver’s license number in a visible place, e.g.,T67191234VA. With this information, police can query your state’s driver’s files to obtain your name and address if your property is recovered. Please be aware that if you elect to mark your property with a personal code, the police will not be able to identify you using this code.

University computers

On computers owned by VCU, staff should mark “VCU” and the office’s complete telephone number, e.g., VCU8048281196. If the computer is owned by the VCU Health Systems, mark “VCUHSA” and the office’s complete telephone number, e.g., VCUHSA8048281196.

Important reminder

Remember to record the marked “owner-applied” information, manufacturers’ serial numbers and property descriptions on the Operation PC ID form. Keep the form in a safe place in your files.

Visibly marking your equipment may deter a thief from stealing your property. However, you should never leave your property unattended in a public place or non-secured location.

LoJack® for Laptops by Absolute Software is a software-based theft recovery and data security service. In the event of theft – LoJack for Laptops can track, locate, and recover stolen computers while providing you with the ability to protect your personal information against identity theft.


If you need assistance using Operation PC ID, contact Officer Matthew Ruland at (804) 828-4395 or email him at mcruland@vcu.edu.