On 2/19/2020, Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson and Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes announced a new state-of-the-art, crime-fighting tool designed to reduce agriculture thefts. Agriculture in the Yuba Sutter Area is an over 800 million dollar a year industry; and they are often a target of property crimes involving extremely valuable equipment and commodities. The Yuba and Sutter Sheriff Offices are collaborating with the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau to launch the program locally with the creators of a company called SmartWater CSI, which makes a liquid product used to mark and identify ownership of farm equipment.
SmartWater is a liquid you cannot see, feel, or smell. However, once a special light shines on the applied SmartWater product, it emits a yellow telltale glow. The liquid has its own unique fingerprint or DNA-similar encryption that is registered to individual farmers or ranchers who take part in the program. A small dab on a piece of equipment is all that is required. If equipment is stolen that is marked with this special liquid and investigators are able to locate the suspect or the marked property, it can lead to identification of the rightful owners of the property and evidence to assist in prosecution of suspects involved in the theft.
Once applied, the unique liquid lasts for years. It is not susceptible to scrubbing; and not even bleach or other chemicals will remove it. If the traceable SmartWater gets on the hands or clothes of the offender, it can assist investigators to forensically place that suspect at the crime scene and potentially help solve such theft cases.
Crime Prevention is also a core goal of the program. Signs and stickers will be provided to farmers using the system to designate equipment and property as being a part of the SmartWater CSI program. The hope is that thieves will see the signage at farms and ranches and decide it is simply not worth the risk to steal equipment protected by SmartWater.
We are committed to helping protect one of Yuba-Sutter’s most important industries. We encourage farming and industrial operations to contact our local Yuba Sutter Farm Bureau to inquire about using this advanced identification system to protect your valuable equipment and join us in fighting Agriculture crime.
Photo, From Left to Right;
Kelli Evans, Yuba Sutter Farm Bureau Ag Crime Committee
Yuba County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Baumgardner, Ag Crime/Farm Bureau Liaison for YCSO
Yuba County Sheriff-Coroner Wendell Anderson
Randy Butschillinger, SmartWater CSI Representative
Sutter County Sheriff-Coroner Brandon Barnes
Frank Hall, Yuba Sutter Farm Bureau Ag Crime Committee