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Ovation: Using SmartWater CSI, LLC Technology In Security Systems Instead Of Exploding Dye Packs.


explodeddyepacMost of us have seen movies or read books about bank robberies where the crooks are caught because the money that is stolen contains a hidden device that explodes and marks the perpetrators with colorful dye that makes them identifiable to the authorities.  There’s no denying that you had something to do with a bank robbery when police find you covered in bright red dye … another, literal, definition of being caught “red handed”.

The technology is solid.  In most cases, a flexible dye pack is placed in a hollowed-out space within a stack of bills.  The stack of bills, which looks and feels like any other, is stored next to a magnetic plate near a bank cashier ready to be handed over to a potential robbery by a bank employee.  When the stack is removed from the magnetic plate, it is activated so that once it leaves the building a radio transmitter triggers a timer that leads to an aerosol explosion of ink intended to permanently stain and destroy the stolen money and mark the robber’s body with a bright color.  Sometimes tear gas is included in the process.  It is estimated that dye packs are in use in more than seventy-five percent of banks in the United States.

The problem is that the robbers know about them.

As if from episodic television, SmartWater CSI, LLC currently uses forensic marking technology to protect more than twenty million items of property.  It’s asset protection system in the form of a clear liquid which contains a unique forensic code that is extremely durable and guaranteed to last at least five years within all weather conditions.  The liquid is applied to items of value – personal, commercial, and industrial – which are frequently the target of theft.  Their non-hazardous patented liquid leaves a long-lasting identifying mark that is invisible except under ultraviolet black light.  Thieves who target items treated with the liquid are, apparently, apprehended substantially more often.

SmartWaterCSIOfficers in London have been using the odorless chemical mist as part of security systems in the city’s cars and homes.  When burglars break in they are sprayed with the invisible substance that cannot be washed off.  The crooks have no idea that they’ve been marked … until it’s too late.

When the young man in these pictures, for example, stole items from a car, he activated a spray system where he was covered with the substance.  Never suspecting the car’s security system, he denied his involvement until ultraviolet light proved that his jacket was coated with the substance which ultimately led to his arrest.

Hopefully, technology of this nature … or something similar … will become the norm in banks, department stores, homes and autos.  On the news just this morning, I saw video footage of a man who broke into a convenience store to steal cigarettes and police were asking viewers to come forward if they recognized the man in the video.  If he had been sprayed with a substance that would remain on him for years, I imagine he might be persuaded to walk beneath an ultraviolet light at some point.

What do you think?  Would something like this deter crime?


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From → Ovations

  1. I think it will until the criminals figure out a new way. A life of crime unfortunately funds talent to thwart and steal. Good post. BTG


  2. Interesting….. could it help youngest son find his wallet? that goes missing, many times in his apartment… this time he says it was at a bar…


  3. I agree with btg5885: they will figure out a way around it eventually, but during the window of opportunity before they do, it’s probably a good thing.


  4. I’m not sure it would deter crime, but it might make it easier to find the perpetrators.


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