A car thief was caught red – or rather green – handed after attempting to steal from a car fitted with an anti-theft device. SmartWater traceable liquid burst on Yafet Askale's face as he rifled through valuables in a bait car set out by police in Brent, England. According to The Telegraph, Askale initially denied breaking into the vehicle, until police used an ultraviolet light to make the ink visible.
Askale was sentenced to 49 hours community service and ordered to pay 400 (British pounds) or about $650. Brent police have been using the SmartWater technology in bait cars and homes to deter thieves and more easily catch those who do commit a crime. Police also provided free kits for residents to use on their valuables. Burglary and street robbery have dropped in the city.
Car theft has been steadily dropping since the 1990's as manufactures began to make anti-theft devices standard in many new vehicles. The average age of a car on American roads is 11 years however, and chances are your car isn't sporting the most up-to-date technology. Older cars are more valuable to thieves due to a high-demand parts market. Here are a few aftermarket options to protect your car from theft.
Kill Switch: Kill switches are a smart way to detour potential thieves. They interrupt the flow of electricity to the battery, ignition switch or fuel pump, leaving the thief's prize dead on the road.
LoJack: Claiming a 90 percent recovery rate on their website, LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is another effective aftermarket technology for combating theft. A small transmitter is hidden somewhere on the vehicle, allowing police to track it. LoJack can also send emails and texts to the cars owner when the car is moved without authorization.
Biometrics: This includes fingerprint scanning and voice authorization. Though still in its infancy, there are several companies selling aftermarket biometric systems. Your car would not be able to start without the presence of a pre-approved fingerprint or voice identification.
Brain waves: Mashable recently reported Japanese electrical engineer Issa Nakanishi and his team at Tottori University have developed a security system that measures a user's brainwaves. The driver would have to wear headgear that constantly monitors his EEG signals, causing the car to stop if signals other than those pre-programmed into the car were detected. The system could also identify intoxicated drivers via their changed brainwave patterns.