The Marietta Police Department announced Friday morning a rollout of a crime-fighting campaign with the help of CopDots, a tool designed to secretly mark and identify personal property with microscopic serial numbers not visible to the naked eye.
Then, with special equipment used by police, these secret serial numbers will be revealed, according to Marietta Police Officer David Baldwin, so lost or stolen property is returned to the rightful owner.
The serial numbers are linked to a global database, which will increase the chance of burglars being caught and prosecuted for the crime, Baldwin said.
“Although several jurisdictions in the metro area have investigated the use of this technology, the Marietta Police Department is the first in the metro Atlanta area to team up with CopDots,” Baldwin said.
At a press conference Friday morning, Baldwin demonstrated the CopDots tool at the Marietta Police Department off Lemon Street east of Haynes Street.
CopDots are pens filled with a special fluorescent adhesive and thousands of the tiny discs, each about the size of a grain of sand.
Each tiny disc holds an identification number that links the property to the global database, which has a portal for law enforcement and even pawn shops.
DataDot Security Solutions Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., markets the technology as “DNA for your property.”
Items large and small can be marked, from jewelry, electronics, clothing and bikes, Baldwin said.
Deterrent for armed robberies?
The CopDots technology might deter burglars from snatching items in a home, but what about Cobb residents who are robbed while trying to trade or sell mobile devices or name-brand clothing?
For instance, on Oct. 2 at 9:40 a.m., Oscar Ortiz-arias met with James Scott, 23, of Marietta to sell his iPhone after posting it on Craigslist, according to a warrant.
But, when Scott arrived at an apartment building west of Bells Ferry Road near Laura Lake, he robbed Ortiz-arias with a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the iPhone for sale and a second cellphone, the warrant said.
Scott fled the scene but was arrested by the Marietta Police Department on Oct. 23, and charged with four felonies, including armed robbery and aggravated assault, according to the warrant.
Scott, who has a previous conviction from Jan. 30 for violating parole, has not been granted a bond or released from the Cobb jail.
Baldwin said he does not want to discourage Cobb residents from selling personal items, even if it requires meeting a buyer in person.
But, residents should use safety precautions, like not having a buyer meet at a house.
“Meet in a very public area where there are other people around,” Baldwin said.
He also suggested bringing another person along to witness the transaction.
“Safety in numbers,” Baldwin said.