Glowing Liquid May Help Prince George's County Police Solve Crimes - NBC4 Washington

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Glowing Liquid May Help Prince George's County Police Solve Crimes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Prince George's County police are beginning to use a product called SmartWater to help solve burglaries. SmartWater is a liquid that glows under a black light. News4's Tracee Wilkins explains. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016)

    Police in Prince George's County, Maryland, say a liquid that glows under a black light will help prevent and solve crimes.

    Police will begin to use SmartWater, a product credited for a drop in burglaries in the United Kingdom by nearly 30 percent.

    Some Prince George's County residents will get SmartWater for free.

    Police chief Hank Stawinski said the product solves a big problem in policing.

    "It's very difficult to associate that thief with that item at that crime scene. Smartwater changes all of that," he said.

    Users dab the solution on items, and then it will glow under a black light. The liquid leaves behind a unique marker that's left behind even if the item is burned.

    "It's like DNA. It's unique to every household. Every application is unique," SmartWater International CEO Phil Clearly said at a news conference Wednesday in Palmer Park, Maryland.

    Traces of the product are long-lasting.

    "Smart Water is a silent and invisible witness that means that that offender now can be tracked back to that crime days, weeks, even years later," Stawinski said.

    Police then can trace stolen items back to their owners through a database.

    People who use SmartWater get stickers and signs to try to ward off criminals. It is being used in Prince George's County after an initial $50,000 investment by two independent organizations.