Australia has implemented a tiny solution to reduce its big car-theft problem: plastering thousands of plastic microdots on late-model vehicles.
As small as grains of sand, up to 10,000 DataDots are laser-etched with vehicle identification numbers and spray-glued on the engine and most other parts, making it very difficult to “re-birth” cars or sell cannibalized parts. The dots glow under a black light for easy spotting and can be read with a 30-power magnifying glass.
Each microdot has room for 50 characters, and the glues can be modified for application on all sorts of household and business items.
Luxury carmakers BMW and Holden Special Vehicles report a 60 percent reduction in thefts. Subaru has experienced a 95 percent drop in vehicles stolen by professional car thieves after putting DataDots on all its new vehicles, said Ray Carroll, executive director of Australia’s National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.