February 20, 2020 – On 2/19/2020, Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson and Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes announced a new state-of-the-art, crime-fighting tool designed to reduce agriculture thefts. Agriculture in the Yuba Sutter Area is an over 800 million dollar a year industry; and they are often a target of property crimes involving extremely valuable equipment and commodities.
The Yuba and Sutter Sheriff Offices are collaborating with the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau to launch the program locally with the creators of a company called SmartWater CSI, which makes a liquid product used to mark and identify ownership of farm equipment.
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SmartWater is a liquid you cannot see, feel, or smell. However, once a special light shines on the applied SmartWater product, it emits a yellow telltale glow. The liquid has its own unique fingerprint or DNA-similar encryption that is registered to individual farmers or ranchers who take part in the program. A small dab on a piece of equipment is all that is required.
If equipment is stolen that is marked with this special liquid and investigators are able to locate the suspect or the marked property, it can lead to identification of the rightful owners of the property and evidence to assist in prosecution of suspects involved in the theft.