BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A tiny, barely visible product being made in Brevard County could be a new tool for law enforcement.
The product is called Cop Dots, and it could help investigators find stolen property anywhere in the state of Florida.
Amelia Pignatelli was crushed when she returned to her Palm Bay home about a month ago to find a burglar had stolen drawers of heirloom jewelry.
“I was devastated, broken-hearted really,” she said. “I had a lot of jewelry my mother passed on to me. That's all gone.”
To date, none of the stolen items have turned up, but the new piece of technology could help Pignatelli and others in case a burglary happens again.
Palm Bay police and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office unveiled a $30 piece of technology they hope will help protect property owners.
It's a high-tech adhesive produced by a Melbourne-based company.
One pin contains more than 3,000 tiny dots, each about the size of a grain of sand. Those dots contain a unique code that links the property back to the owner, and that code can be accessed with readers provided to local law enforcement.
“This program not only gives us an excellent opportunity to identify, recover the property and get it back to its owner, but also have ability to solve crimes and connect crimes,” said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
In addition to Brevard County, Orlando police also plan to take advantage of the technology, which will be available at Lowe's home improvement stores within the next week.
“The bad guys don't look at what jurisdiction you're in, they go through and they're out making a living ripping people off and this effort is going to make the big impact,” said Palm Bay Police Chief Doug Muldoon.