Oh yeah, in Phoenix, AZ it was called "Operation Identification". Just call the Phx PD at 602-262-6151 (still a current Phx PD non emergency number) and they'd loan you an engraver.
I had my own engraver and put my drivers license number; D-111X1X all over my tools. They got stolen and I've never seen a one.
It was a waste of time then and still is.
Strange how I remember all that information. That had to be 35 years ago. Geeze I'm gettin old.
Contact Keith and see if he's the one. I would love to hear the rest of this story.