(Inside Science TV) – Last year, there were more than two million burglaries and six million thefts in the United States. Now, police are adding another tool to help track down criminals and stolen goods.
The FBI estimates 1 in 36 homes will be burglarized this year. Now, homeowners and police are adding a new crime-fighting tool for your precious valuables.
“SmartWater products are used to deter, deflect and detect criminal activity," said Brenda Bailey, director of business development at SmartWater located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"Smart" water can help law enforcement track down what has been stolen and who took it.
“It’s a clear non-toxic, liquid that contains a unique forensic code. It’s like a one in a billion signature," Bailey said.
All you do is apply a drop to your laptop, jewelry, lawn equipment, bicycles or anything else of value.
It's a water-based traceable liquid with non-toxic additives. It leaves an identifying mark that can only be seen under ultraviolet black light. Cops are able to shine a black light onto stolen objects, and if they light up, then the items are sent to a lab for analysis.
The SmartWater lab analyzes the sample and matches it to its owner. It can also be used by businesses to spray on burglars during a break-in.
Bailey explains that the SmartWater can remain on a thief’s shoes for up to five years after the crime.
SmartWater is already being used in 15 cities across the country. In Fort Lauderdale, police have seen a 26 percent reduction in residential burglaries since it was introduced in the past year and a half, suggesting it's a smart way to outsmart criminals.
A key component of the SmartWater strategy is the use of signage. Communities that use SmartWater post signs and place stickers to deter thieves from stealing in the first place.