High-tech dots to help theft victims identify stolen bicycles

At The Pedaler bicycle shop in El Sobrante, theft is an issue that the owner knows well. 

"People ride their bikes and fall in love with them. And it really tears at them to lose their bikes," said store owner Jeff Jerge

He's stocked with an array of locks to protect bikes that can be worth over $10,000. 

"People make the mistake of leaving their garage door open and people can see them. And they'll grab them then or maybe they'll come back to grab them because it's not only something to steal, it's a getaway vehicle," added Jerge.

But now he has a new product that could help victims after the getaway vehicle is taken. 

Anti Theft Dots as they are called are an adhesive material containing microdots that are hard to see and remove. 

"Each one of those dots has an alpha numeric serial number that's registered back to the user," said Shawn Andreas from Anti Theft Dots.

The Pinole Police Department is the first in the Bay Area to introduce the dots as a new crime fighting tool. It won't stop something from being stolen, but using a special reader, the dots will help police find the rightful owner when an item is recovered. 

"And actually scan the item in the car to see if there's any dots on that and be able to identify a property owner," said Pinole Police Chief Neil Gang.

Sometimes when bicycles are stolen they're broken down and sold for parts. Police say that with this product you can more easily mark each of those parts making sure that each one of them has your ID number.

And getting stolen bikes or other property back to the owners is challenging. "DOJ I think says about 80 percent of the people that are victims of property crimes do not get their property back," said Gang.

That's a trend that police want to see reversed.