Three alleged thieves are now behind bars and Tulare County Sheriff’s detectives said the group may be involved in a string of burglaries spanning months.
Detectives said the same property on Citrus Street in Lindsay has been hit several times since January. Sgt. Bobby Rader said power tools and stereo equipment had been taken. So investigators left out something hard to pass up.
“We deployed our bait generator,” Rader said Monday. The department uses bait equipment to fight Ag crimes in the county, and the items are equipped with a few extras, “A GPS tracker device, and it’s covered with Smart Water grease.”
Smart Water is a mineral based substance which transfers with just a touch. It’s invisible except under special light and each vile is unique and traceable.
Rader said to think of it as DNA, “I would swab and analyze that smart water and it would be registered to you,” he said.
The generator was on the move early Sunday morning. The GPS alerted investigators to the movement, and they caught up to 23-year-old Danielle Potter, 33-year-old Alyssa Smith and 33-year-old Daniel Tucker nearby in Porterville.
“Each of them had invisible Smart Water residue on their hands,” Rader said. He said criminals are not able to detect it’s presence, “it will immediately transfer and you don’t know you have it.”
He said it’s also hard to deny. “(Thieves) can lie and try to deceive you, and then we shine a light and then there’s no question,” Rader said.
The trio are now facing charges including burglary and grand theft, and investigators are working to link them to more crimes.
The Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware of Smart Water and it’s benefits. They routinely do demonstrations on the product.
You can reach them by phone: (559) 802-9400
and get more information on ag crimes here: https://tularecounty.ca.gov/sheriff/index.cfm/divisions/investigations/property-crimes/agricultural-crimes-unit/