Crime - Sacto 911

Woodland police introduce anti-theft technology to help residents recover stolen property

The Woodland Police Department is introducing a new anti-theft technology in an effort to reduce property theft in the community and help victims recover stolen items.

The technology, Anti-Theft Dots, consists of a substance in which thousands of microscopic dots are suspended. The dots are smaller than a grain of sand, and on each dot is a laser-etched personal identification number that is registered to the user. The substance is extremely hard to remove and can withstand high temperatures, according to a Police Department news release. The user applies the substance to valuables and registers the PIN in the Law Enforcement National Recovery Database, or LENRD.

The Woodland Police Department is equipped with scanning tools to determine whether property has been marked with the substance. If it has been marked, a special digital reader is applied to the substance so police can read the PIN on the microscopic dots. That PIN is then entered into the recovery database, allowing law enforcement agencies to retrieve ownership information.

The difficulty with property theft, police said, is identifying the victim. According to the Department of Justice, they said, more than 85 percent of recovered property is never returned to the rightful owners because the owners cannot be identified. Police hope the new technology will encourage users to register their property with the Law Enforcement National Recovery Database using a computer or smartphone mobile application. The database is accessible to more than 36,000 law enforcement agencies. The mobile app also features a notification option that gives users the ability to quickly send out an alert to all other users in the city when a theft occurs, providing specific details of the stolen property, including a picture.

Police Department staff members will provide sample property DNA labels to Woodland residents at crime prevention events and demonstrate application and data entry into the Law Enforcement National Recovery Database.

Police said the city’s Public Works Department will use DNA labels on high value city property often targeted for theft, such as copper wire and specialty tools.

Anti-Theft Dots products will be available for purchase by the public at retail stores throughout the city.