Stop thief! If only it were that easy. Most laptops and tablets are stolen when the owner is out of sight. But there’s a simple step you can take to help deter theft – and to increase the chance of getting your laptop or tablet returned when you’ve lost it.
STOP tags are plates that are secured to your device with incredibly strong glue. They include a barcode/tag number that’s recorded in a web-based tracking system. Your device will be registered upon receiving a tag. If the tag is removed, the tattoo left behind states that the item is stolen property and provides a phone number and website address for recovery. (Note: STOP tags are too large to affix to smartphones.)
According to Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer of the MIT Police, the tags are not fail-safe, but can make items less attractive for thieves and be an aid in returning lost or stolen items. She mentioned a recent incident where a thief stole a laptop in one MIT building, and must have noticed the STOP tag. He left that laptop behind in a connecting building, where he then stole an untagged one.
Upcoming STOP Tag Sessions
At MIT, STOP tagging and registration are sponsored by the MIT Police Crime Prevention Unit and IS&T.
The service costs $10 per tag; the fee can be paid in cash or by using an MIT cost object code. Upcoming STOP tagging sessions are scheduled on November 7 and December 5. For details, see the Knowledge Base article on Campus Police Laptop Tagging and Registration.
For more tips about protecting your devices, including mobile devices, see IS&T’s web page on Loss and Theft.
If you have questions about the STOP tag program, send mail to Cheryl Vossmer of the MIT Police.