A licence plate on a motor vehicle is what is known as a unique identification number (UIN). But, if it’s so important to have a UIN on a car, why is it you only need a screwdriver to remove it? The reason is the technology you never see.

The technology is in the database

A license plate is something people encounter on a daily basis, but rarely think of the power it has. The license plate is extremely old-school technology—it’s incredibly analog. So is the vehicle identification number (VIN) that is stamped into the frame of the motor vehicle. The power of the strategy comes from the global databases the police can access from any squad car.

60% of stolen motor vehicles are recovered

Because citizens are in the habit of reporting stolen license plates and stolen cars, police departments are able to recover 60% of stolen vehicles. The ability of law enforcement agencies to scan license plates and identify stolen cars has been constantly improving over the years because of technological innovations.

The private database of MyPropertyID

The MyPropertyID database is a password-protected system that allows its users to tag items with a globally unique identification number (UIN) and then register the serial numbers of their portable valuables in a single cloud-based location.

MyPropertyID serves two important purposes.

1). If an item is lost and the UIN is still attached, a Good Samaritan can enter that UIN on the MyPropertyID website and a privacy-protected, proxy email will be sent to the rightful owner. 2). If an item is stolen, time is of the essence. It’s a snap to get the serial numbers of those stolen items to the police so they can enter them into their global databases.

Less than 10% of other stolen items are recovered

When it comes to stolen or lost property other than motor vehicles, less than 10% of items are recovered. These item don’t disappear into the black market because they are small. They disappear because nobody has ever bothered to record the serial numbers and pair the items with a UIN on a private database.

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