Thieves Beware – We Have Water

[Photo of Smartwater sign]I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE A DETERRENT SIGN IN A LOCAL SHOP.

It states

THIEVES BEWARE

Then has a centrally located word inside a scientific looking graphic (atomic? planetary?), the word is:

SMARTWATER

What can this mean? Thieves have to beware of smartwater? Not exactly enlightening for the average shoplifter is it?

It also states that there are:

FORENSIC SYSTEMS IN USE.

For shoplifting? really?

Most people, including thieves, alleged thieves and potential thieves, would understand forensics to have to do with murder and other serious crimes, rather than shoplifting.

It is intriguing – some form of forensic smartwatery way of catching shoplifters? Seems far-fetched. I wonder how much of a deterrent this sign is. Perhaps some more information would help in the deterrent stakes.

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3 Responses to “Thieves Beware – We Have Water”

  1. Stuart_B Says:

    Ha..Thieves should encounter SmartWater at their peril .If they get it on themselves from sprinklers it cannot be removed or on their stolen goods and is detected by a UV lamp and the water has a “signature ” which identifies the source of the goods .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SmartWater

  2. StrathclydePolice Says:

    The idea behind Smartwater is to be able to trace stolen goods. Items stocked in shops have been sprayed with what amounts to invisible ink that has a signature that can be detected under UV light. You are right, it is not a deterrent because it is not well-known and is open to abuse.

    Every item in the shop, including the items you have bought has been treated by this system whether you want that or not. When you sell it on, or give it to charity, it is traceable to the shop. It is impossible to use this system forensically to prove an item was stolen.

    An item of clothing, for example, could be stolen, and worn/washed without detection — the thieves could even wear the items in the shop from which they were stolen. Unless someone suspects something and can utilize the UV detection equipment on the item, no-one would be any the wiser.

    There is a hint that it could be used in a shop’s sprinkler system, but this is wrong as a sprinkler system is a fire-prevention system, not an anti-theft device. A break-in that activated sprinklers would indeed identify thieves, but it would also ruin the stock with water damage as well as with forensically traceable material.

    • Stuart_B Says:

      You really Strathclyde Police .cos I doubt it ..??


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