CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police say there is a useful crime fighting tool that can keep track of your belongings and help law enforcement agencies along the way.
It’s called “CopDots.”
On the anniversary of the National Night Out, the company announced a partnership with
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and Lowes Home Improvement store.
“It was a World War II product. We changed the technology to make it covert,” says CopDots’ Rick Hughes. "The technology in the way it is utilized is new."
CopDot is the home-friendly version of “DataDot,” a microchip identification system commonly used by government agencies and corporations.
This version has a pen-like applicator, which typically can make up to 50 items in your home.
The high-grade adhesive contains what looks like black pepper flakes. Those flakes are actually the microdots that illuminate under a black light. Investigators use a special reader that displays the microdot’s laser-etched identification number.
Once the information is registered online by the owner, it is stored in a secured database that can be accessed by law enforcement.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police agreed to act as an administrator for the database.
"This pretty much says take me if you want to, but we're going to find it and it will show up."
CMPD officer Craig Allen says electronics like flat screen TVs and GPS devices commonly end up at \pawn shops or in the police evidence room. With hundreds, if not thousands of items to sift through, it is difficult to find the rightful owner unless the items are individually marked,
“We have a warehouse full of stolen property that has either been found or lost. It goes to auction twice a year and we would love to reduce the amount of products being auctioned,” says Allen.
CopDot has received high marks for its versatility and convenience. Allen says its success, however it depends on the public’s participation.
Whether it’s engraving items like jewelry, or keeping a detailed inventory of items in your time, the CopDots are just another tool in helping not only deter thefts, but safeguarding valuables.
"It doesn't stop you from being a victim but it may help you recover your items."