A thief in London was proved guilty after he was sprayed with a SmartWater liquid that made him shine green under ultra-violet light.
Yafet Askale, 28, of Harlesden in London, was sentenced to a community order for theft from a motor vehicle at Brent Magistrates Court on 27 September 2013.
He broke into a police trap car in Harlesden on 10 June 2013 and was later located by the police in possession of items stolen from the car.
This included a laptop which, when he stole it, activated a SmartWater traceable liquid spray which covered him with the substance. Ultra-violet scans found that Askale’s face and jacket were heavily marked with the bright green substance.
Brent Police have been trialling SmartWater systems in houses and cars in the area to deter thieves, and catch suspects. The Police were able to find Askale as the trap car system automatically alerted them to the theft and the ultra-violet images, released by Brent Police, helped prove his guilt.
Detective Inspector Madeline Ryder of Brent Police said: “Using the trap car technology, we were able to charge Askale and put him before the courts.
“The trap car forms part of an overall crime reduction strategy designed by SmartWater, which is an effective weapon in the armoury of tools that we routinely use in Brent. We will continue to target those who are insistent on committing these types of offences.
“Brent Police say very clearly to any would be thieves – Don’t come to Brent – our trap cars and trap houses are waiting for you.”
Residents in Harlesden have been given free kits to mark their valuables with the substance, which has seen an 80 per cent reduction in burglary and a 40 per cent drop in street robbery.