Steve’s best way to mark a thief

Look how sneaky this thief is

Look how sneaky this thief is

An enduring quality of good thieves is that they are difficult to catch, that no-one knows who they are and they could be anyone, ready to go about some thieving. So wouldn’t it be great if the thieves could be identified somehow? If there were some way to trace the robber to the crime?

Well now there is (to be fair there probably has been for quite a while, I remember some stuff similar to this in 2008), Smart Water. To me this seems like a genius idea, a substance which is put on an item, leaving something similar to a barcode, can easily be transferred onto skin if the object is touched and will only show up in UV light.

This was recently brought to my attention again in the Metro (seriously love this paper for producing so many stories that aren’t really stories) which published an article about a man who was caught stealing from a police trap car. Once items had been stolen from the car, Smart Water sprinklers went off and covered the man in the substance.

Smart water

The first thing to note here is that police have trap cars. Personally I think this is kind of cool and a sneaky way to get one over on thieves. It seems to me like an extreme version of the old fashioned booby trap: put a bucket of water on top of a door and then the person who is soaking wet is the one who tried to go into your room, but this one is done with Smart Water sprinklers – slightly more hi-tech.

Secondly, I feel like this man, after being sprayed by an unknown substance in the middle of stealing items, probably should have washed his face. I mean, come on, why wouldn’t you?! Maybe he was picked up soon after the event, the most likely reason, however I like to think he was arrested because he had poor hygiene.

Finally, I seriously hope he was discovered at a rave or a nightclub with their UV lights, and someone went, “Why is the Hulk here?!”, calling the police in the same instant. They came because they wanted to see the green man, not because they thought he was a criminal.

So that’s my best way to mark a thief and if you want to see those thieves who have poor hygiene, just carry around a pocket UV light, I’m sure you’ll discover one some day…