Man charged over SmartWater bike theft

Smartwater, an invisible forensic coding liquid which shows up under a UV light.
Smartwater, an invisible forensic coding liquid which shows up under a UV light.
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A Man has been charged with theft after a bike marked with SmartWater technology was left around Edinburgh by police in a bid to snare criminals.

Since September, thousands of homes across Scotland have been provided with the specially designed chemical marking solution to prevent housebreakings in areas that had been previously identified as a hotspot for acquisitive crime offences.

In addition, for the past few weeks officers in Edinburgh have planted a mountain bike which is coated in the solution at various areas of the city.

On Friday, November 21, the bike was stolen from outside the University of Edinburgh Library in George Street.

Police traced the stolen property to an address in Hyvot Gardens the following day and detained a 28-year old male in connection with the theft.

He will appear in court at a later date.

And PoliceScotland warned that the marked bike - and other marked items - will be back on the streets to hep tham catch crooks red-handed.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Houston said: “When we embarked on this initiative to utilise SmartWater, our focus was on crime prevention and the property marking solution and SmartWater signage in numerous streets throughout Edinburgh and across Scotland are proving to be an excellent deterrent against housebreaking.

“However, we remain committed to proactively identifying those responsible for acquisitive crime and bringing them to justice and working alongside SmartWater Technologies Ltd we have been using a fully marked bike in areas where break-ins and thefts have regularly been reported.

“The public will not know where this bike, or any other marked items will be positioned, nor will they be able to detect the solution on the property.

“What they will very quickly realise, though, is that they have been literally caught red-handed when we appear at their door.”

Brian Connel, SmartWater’s Police Liaison Consultant in Scotland. “Whilst our partnership with Police Scotland focusses on keeping people safe and secure and preventing the them from becoming victims of crime, we also have those responsible for these crimes in our sights.

“Therefore we are delighted that Police Scotland have taken the SmartWater deterrent straight to the criminals door.

“The excellent work of these officers reinforces that SmartWater is out there and the police are looking for it.”