Deter thieves by making mark on property

Caitriona Murphy

Marking your property can act as an effective deterrent against thieves and will also help in recovering stolen items.

There are numerous ways to both identify and mark your property and each method should be recorded in a full inventory of the items you own.

There are websites such as on which you can record your property inventory free of charge.

Farmers should photograph each item of machinery and each tool. To get an idea of scale, have someone stand beside larger items such as quads and trailers and use a ruler for smaller items.

Register the make, serial number, colour and any unusual features on equipment. Indicate the type of property marking and where it is applied on the item.

For example, for a farm quad, list the make, model, serial number, colour, any dents, scratches or other marks, and the security mark(s) that you have put on it and where.

There are two ways to mark your property: overt (obvious) and covert (hidden) marking.


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•Stencil your name and phone number onto your machinery, trailers and large equipment. For example, stencil C Murphy 087 1234567 on the side of the cattle trailer in easily legible lettering.

•Use heavy duty etching/stencilling to write your name and address or phone number.

•Permanent heavy duty marking can be done with a welder or grinder.

Engraving machines can be bought or hired cheaply.


•Products such as forensic DNA-type marking can be applied to areas/places not easily detectable by the criminal/thief. Contact your local crime prevention officer for information and advice if required.

•Etching or engraving can be done underneath machinery or in areas which will become mud splattered and so remain hidden.

•A permanent marker may be appropriate to mark smaller equipment.

•A soldering iron is effective for permanent marking on plastic areas.

•Marking the roof of a horsebox or cattle trailer will not be easily seen by a thief but will be clearly visible if the trailer is recovered.

Caitriona Murphy

Indo Farming

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