Tiny dots help prevent theft of cars, electronics

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Imagine if something smaller than a flea had the power to protect your property from the grasp of a selfish thief. New nano-technology is doing just that.

The product is called Data Dots and they are tiny ceramic, polyester or metal dots that can be placed on vehicles, vehicle parts, electronics, even copper wire and metal fences.

On each dot is a specific number which can only be read using a special magnifying device.

For example, when it comes to vehicles, the number is forever connected with your vehicle or it's parts because it is registered along with your vehicle VIN and kept by the Insurance Service Office.

That way if police recover a stolen vehicle or stolen parts, they can trace them back to you.

Data Dots suppliers won't say exactly how many they put on a vehicle but they admit it's anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500.

"It is possible to scrape them off, if you know what you're looking for, but you'd never get them all and it only takes one to convict," said Capital Group CEO Rick Hughes. The Capital Group includes the Data Dots company.

Data Dots operates on a business-to-business platform so for the average consumer to get them, you'd have to go through a third party like your home warranty company, security company, insurance agent or car dealer.

At Folger KIA and Subaru every car that leaves the lot is equipped with Data Dots. A customer can choose whether they want to activate the account. The general manager says 5 years of coverage can cost $249. The feedback he gets from customers usually relates to the amount of money they save if they activate the dots.

"They tell me how much they've saved on their insurance just by telling their insurance company their car has Data Dots," said Folger GM Rick Burleson.

For more information about Data Dots, click here.

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