Car thief sprayed with invisible dye in police trap
A thief was arrested after being sprayed with invisible ultra violet dye when he broke into a 'trap car' set up by police.
Yafet Askale, 28, denied breaking into the vehicle which had been fitted with a traceable liquid called SmartWater, which contains a dye that becomes visible under ultra violet light.
As he stole items including a laptop he activated a system which sprayed him with the substance and alerted police the car had been broken into. Ultra violet lights showed Askale covered in the spray.
Releasing the images as a warning, Detective Inspector Madeline Ryder, of Brent Police, said: "This is another excellent example of the thorough work completed by Brent Officers. Using the trap car technology we were able to charge Askale and put him before the courts.
"The trap car forms part of an overall crime reduction strategy designed by SmartWater which is an effective weapon in the armoury of tools that we routinely use in Brent. We will continue to target those who are insistent on committing these types of offence.
"Brent Police say very clearly to any would be thieves - don't come to Brent - our trap cars and trap houses are waiting for you."
Askale, of Harlesden Gardens, Harlesden, was sentenced to a community order for 49 hours and ordered to pay £400 costs at Brent Magistrates' Court for theft from motor vehicle.
The trap car with SmartWater was set up near his home when he targeted it in June. The suspect was found to be in possession of the stolen property and arrested. He denied theft but was found guilty.
Brent Police have recently been working with SmartWater using trap cars and houses equipped with technology to deter thieves from committing crime and to catch those that do.
Residents have also been provided with free kits to mark valuable property with the substance within their homes which has led to reductions in burglary and street robbery and 80 and 40 percent respectively.
Three different traceable liquids are currently being trialled across London by police to prevent burglary, theft, robbery and vehicle related crime. The others are called Applied DNA Sciences and Stealth Mark.