Press Releases

Tuesday 09/17/2019 3:12 PM - Sheriff Unveils Agriculture Anti-Theft Tool

Contact: Tony Cipolla
Phone: (805) 781-4547
Type of Incident: Sheriff Unveils Agriculture Anti-Theft Tool
Date and Time of Incident: 9-17-19, 11:00 AM
Place of Occurrence: 773 Foothill Blvd., San Luis Obispo
Victim Information: N/A
Suspect Information: N/A
Details of News Release: On 9-17-19, Sheriff Parkinson announced a new state-of-the-art, crime-fighting tool designed to reduce agriculture thefts. The Sheriff's Office is partnering with a company called SmartWater CSI which makes a liquid product to protect farm equipment. It’s a liquid you can’t see, feel, or smell. But once a special light shines on the SmartWater liquid, it emits a yellow tell-tale glow. The liquid has its own unique fingerprint or DNA encryption that’s registered to individual farmers or ranchers who take part in the program. A small dab on a piece of equipment is all that’s required. If that equipment is stolen and investigators are able to locate the criminal or the stolen items, all they have to do is wave a special light and they're able to trace it back to the owner. The liquid lasts for years. It can’t be scrubbed off. And bleach won’t take it off either. If the SmartWater gets on the hands or clothes of the criminal, investigators are then able to place that criminal at the crime scene which results in convictions. "Agriculture in San Luis Obispo County is a billion-dollar a year industry," said Sheriff Parkinson. "We owe it to the farmers and ranchers to help them protect their livelihoods. SmartWater CSI should go a long way to doing just that." Deterrence is also a part of the program. Signs and stickers will designate equipment and property as being a part of the SmartWater CSI program. The hope is that thieves will see the signage at farms and ranches and decide it’s not worth the risk to try and steal the equipment. In the past four years, Deputies in the Sheriff's Office Rural Crimes Unit have responded to 77 burglaries, 146 thefts, 28 vandalism cases, and 14 stolen vehicles.

Prepared By: tcipolla
Released: Tuesday 09/17/2019 3:29 PM