Several residents of a suburban Palm Beach Gardens community this week got to take home one of the county’s newest crime-fighting tools.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office handed out kits of SmartWater CSI, a forensically-coded liquid that can be used to identify stolen valuables. The free kits were given to residents of the Cabana Colony residents Tuesday at the Cross Community Church in Palm Beach Gardens.
An estimated 60-75 people attended the event, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said. The sheriff’s office joins two other local agencies in using the SmartWater technology.
Last June, the Riviera Beach Police Department became the first in the county to introduce SmartWater and Boynton Beach police introduced the technology in December.
Officers from participating agencies are provided with equipment and training to identify items marked with SmartWater. The non-toxic liquid can be applied to items such as jewelry, electronics and industrial machinery. The liquid is forensically encoded so that it can be traced back to its owner.
It also can leave identifying marks on skin and clothing. Some police agencies have rigged bait cars to spray would-be burglars with SmartWater.
Last August, Riviera Beach police made their first arrest using SmartWater after a man was sprayed after allegedly broke into a bait car set up by officers.