Cop Dots will help Orlando police ID stolen goods



ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando's police department is the largest in the country to get a new crime-fighting tool that will help track down stolen property.

The technology is called Cop Dots and it is the size of a grain of sand.

Cop Dots look a lot like glitter. What you can't see with the naked eye is that each one of the tiny dots contains a series of numbers that can be tracked back to an owner.

The dots are applied using a pen-like dispenser. A glue-like substance holds it all together while the user applies it to any personal property.

With one application, the dots are applied and barely visible, unless you have the right technology -- technology Orlando police will now carry.

"There's a case that will allow [the reading device] to attach to a mobile phone and they can actually stick it on the dots and read it through their camera application," said Shawn Andreas of Cop Dots.

But Orlando police still have to find the stolen items first. Sometimes those items show up at pawn shops.

"Are you going to be increasing your number of pawn shop details?" Channel 9's Racquel Asa asked Orlando Police section commander Stanley Klem.

"Not really. The items have to get out to the consumer, and until that occurs to increase our number of details wouldn't make sense," said Klem.

So that police can track the numbers gleaned through Cop Dots, the user must register the product with the Cop Dots database.

The Cop Dots database is available to any department in the country who participates in the program. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office and Palm Bay Police Department started using the Cop Dots program in April.

The Cop Dots application pen can be purchased at any Lowe's store for about $30.