MARGATE, FL – Dab it on jewelry, electronics and other household assets and increase the chance of their return if stolen. In conjunction with Broward Crime Stoppers and the Margate Police Department, SmartWater CSI distributed 100 SmartWater Kits to residents of Margate’s Coral Bay community for free on Saturday.
SmartWater is a revolutionary clear liquid from the United Kingdom that when dry marks valuables with a “one in a billion” forensic code (Smarticles) unique to the homeowner and invisible to the naked eye. In case of theft, the code is identified by police with an ultra-violet (UV) black-light set to a specific wavelength. “This makes it easy to identify stolen goods during traffic stops, in pawn shops or wherever stolen property may turn up,” Margate Police Officer, Tony Careccia, told MargateNews.net.
Coral Bay was chosen as the test community in Margate because of its broad homeowner demographic, said Crime Stoppers Executive Director, Ralph Page. As part a study funded by the County’s Law Enforcement Trust and supported by the Florida Attorney General, Page will be tracking the success of SmartWater in Coral Bay and other communities six months down the road to gauge the product’s effectiveness. In Broward, the crime fighting water has been introduced to communities in Fort Lauderdale and Miramar.
Page, a retired Major from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, said law enforcement officials in South Florida have embraced the product and endorse it as a crime-fighting tool. Not only will it help deter burglaries and theft, it will aid in the conviction of criminals by tying them directly to stolen property. “Ask the guys who do the job and they’ll tell you what you need,” Page said, adding that he hopes more communities like Coral Bay adopt the SmartWater program.
With eight communities in Coral Bay first to put SmartWater to the test in Margate, police say they have all the equipment needed to go live with the program. Careccia said random sweeps of pawn shops may occur and Road Patrol will be equipped with special UV lights to identify stolen goods in transit marked with SmartWater. Insoluble and non-toxic, the forensic water can’t be removed from property or washed-off in the shower for five years. It will not damage jewelry, electronics or skin, say SmartWater officials, and black-lights used to identify stolen goods are proprietary. Unlike black lights purchased for novelty.
Community Relations Director for the company, Brenda Bailey, told Coral Bay residents Saturday that SmartWater detection equipment can be found only in the hands of law enforcement and security officials, so thieves can’t figure out what is marked and what isn’t before deciding to take something from a home or car. Baily demonstrated signage that identifies Coral Bay as a community protected by SmartWater.
Because Margate is a SmartWater CSI test market in Broward, residents can obtain a 10-milliliter vial for $30 or 70% off retail price – enough to swab 60 items. Although the product is available for sale online to individuals, Bailey said SmartWater is most effective when homeowner and condominium associations get onboard as groups. This way, thieves know entire communities are protected by the SmartWater system.
Coral Bay board member, Dan Dean, said the turnout for the SmartWater demonstration was excellent. A line formed outside the clubhouse even before it started. “The response has been heartening,” he said. “A lot of homeowners are talking positively about it.”