Cops want criminals to see them driving around neighborhoods, in shopping centers and at public events to act as a deterrent.
But law enforcement's newest tool is something crooks can't see.
The undercover tool is called "Cop Dots," and the Lakeland Police Department is the first agency in central Florida to use it.
Cop Dots is a way to mark your belongings so they can hopefully be returned if they are stolen and eventually found.
Here is the way Cop Dots work: You can buy a special pen at Lowe's for about $30. You use it to mark anything you think a crook might grab. The pen secretes a clear glue with the "cop dots" in it. To the naked eye, a cop dot looks like nothing more than a spec of dirt, but on each one is a unique series of tiny letters and numbers that you register with the company online.
If the item is recovered after a burglary, police have a special reader that allows them to see the sequence and trace the item back to you.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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