Advice | November 25, 2016 9:00 am

There’s Now a Synthetic Spray That Can Track Stolen Goods

See if you touch that stapler now, punk

Used to be you the DNA sample didn’t come into play until after the burglary occurred.

Not anymore. Now you apply it beforehand to prevent the burglary from happening in the first place.

The latest innovation in the field comes courtesy of a U.K. security firm called SmartWater that’s created a UV-detectable mist homeowners can spray on stuff to mark their territory. Each custom batch of the water-resistant spray has its own DNA-style synthetic code police can use to prove where the doused items — once recovered — were transported to after a burglary.

In addition to letting customers store up to 10 items in its database for $5 a month, SmartWater also offers motion-triggered spray systems that can provide coverage for non-registered items.

Obviously the major drawback of the system is the DNA-soaked goods have to be recovered for the protection to be effective, but the company claims burglaries are down by 36 percent in areas where customers prominently display SmartWater’s sticker on their homes. “Criminals hate traceability, or anything that’s trackable,” company co-founder Phil Cleary told Bloomberg.

While we think it sounds better suited for a CSI episode than actual use, the company just made a deal with police in George County, Maryland, to start using SmartWater at homes in the area.

Plan your crab cake capers accordingly.

Related: The 10 Commandments of Deterring Burglars, According to Burglars