Spot-On Solutions For Car Thefts
In an effort to prevent the stealing and reselling of automobiles and automobile parts in Australia, cars there are being sprayed with tiny plastic “DataDots” on which vehicle identification numbers are etched with lasers. Each plastic dot has enough space for 50 letters, and different adhesives can be used for cars and other goods.
After using the dots on new cars in 2001, BMW Australia experienced a drop in car thefts as well as a higher number of successful prosecutions, says Ray Carroll, executive director of Australia’s National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
The DataDot company also offers a do-it-yourself kit in collaboration with insurance companies that allows car owners to apply 3,000 of the dots; the dots’ unique ID number can be entered into the insurance industry’s ISO database and accessed by law enforcement officials, says Carroll. But police also have to be educated on looking for the dots, he warns.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has also implemented the DataDot identification system to cut back on the number of stolen water vessels. In addition, Nissan has started using DataDots in the United States to prevent the theft of its expensive Xenon headlights used on high-end vehicles, according to Stuart Cutler, president of financial operations at DataDot USA.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Wired News (08/10/04); Leahy, Stephen .