Microchips are easily fried with throw away cameras.
Few police depts have scanners here. Nobody knows a thing about branding. By law our town clerks are supposed to keep a record of brands but the 2 clerks I asked about it had no idea what I was talking about.
I had a saddle stolen along with some assorted pads and girths that were perched on top of it. I doubt I will ever see it again but I still look at every similar saddle.