Stolen Property Easily Detected With SmartWater

From SmartWater to Smart Farms

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

There’s a new tool that could lead to a significant decrease in crime rates, starting in the Tulare County. The tool is called SmartWater, and Detective John Nicholson of the Tulare County Ag Crimes Unit said that the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department has begun using it to track stolen property.

Detective John Nicholson

Nicholson said that SmartWater comes from a company based out of England that has been around for about 20 years and decided to open up a branch in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Word came about the tool’s dramatic effect on crime rates, with double-digit reductions in the neighborhoods where it was used.

“The sheriff was excited about it and thought it could be something that would protect the local farmers and ranchers of Tulare County,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson said growers could get their own vial so that they can mark equipment with a mark that is made visible by a particular light only the sheriff’s department has access to, so the criminals do not know it is there.

Nicholson explained it as working similar to identifying people by DNA, as a sample is taken back to the lab so it can come back registered to the property owner.

“It’s a mineral-based tool that can not only stand up to the elements, but even if bleach is poured onto it, the SmartWater will remain there as evidence against criminals in court,” Nicholson said.

“If someone is caught with a tool, jewelry, firearm or anything—and even if the serial number is ground off—if the item was marked with SmartWater, it comes back registered to a victim who has had the item stolen. Then we can identify that item in court,” he said.

This should ultimately lead to an arrest or conviction due to possession of stolen property.

The SmartWater program is available for free at the Tulare County Sheriff’s department.




A 2005 Ford F150 was stolen in the South Sutter Basin near Ensley Road, sometime between Friday evening, April 4 and Saturday morning, April 5.
The truck is charcoal in color, with license plate number 8A25808.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department at (530) 822-7307, or the California Highway Patrol at 1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247).


antiCrimeAG CRIME ALERT!Tisdale Irrigation has been hit by copper thieves twice in the last 30 days at two pumps along the Sacramento River south of Meridian.

Damage was also caused to the pump motors and it is believed the same party is responsible for both instances.

Growers in the area should check their pumps, be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report any information to the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department at (530) 822-7307.



Source: San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office


On March 20th at approximately 3:00 p.m., our office took a report of a stolen John Deere tractor model number 7330. It was last seen on March 19th at 5:00 p.m.

antiCrimeIt was taken from the area 8 Mile Road and lower Sacramento Road, Stockton Ca.

Any information please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (209) 468-4400.

MAKE: John Deere
YEAR: 2009
MODEL: 7330
COLOR: Green
VIN #: RW7330E005413
LAST SEEN: 3-19-14 @ 1700 HRS

NOTICED MISSING: 3-20-14 at 10:00 a.m.

STOLEN FROM: Eight Mile Rd. & Lower Sacramento Rd. Stockton

Any info contact the rural crimes unit at (209) 468-4798 / 468-4400 or at

Avocado Theft Protection Critical Right Now

The Commission has received reports that avocado theft is on the rise in the southern region of California.

In one incident, nearly 5,000 pounds of avocados were stolen from Lilac Hills Ranch between February 22–24, 2014. Officials noted that it appears a fence was cut “a few days prior” to the theft and the stolen avocados were handpicked during a very short time frame.

If anyone has any information concerning the felony theft, please contact Detective Dave Brannan at 858.565.5200.

It is critical that California avocado growers take steps to prevent theft in their avocado groves. Here are a few tips:

  • Assess the security of your grove — examine fences and gates closely.
  • Post “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs to advise potential thieves you will prosecute trespassers.
  • Carefully screen job applicants and check their references.
  • Encourage farm workers to watch for unusual behavior by fellow employees and to report unescorted visitors to their employers.
  • Utilize surveillance equipment, motion detectors, audible alarms, dogs or geese to deter theft.

Post metal avocado theft signs on your property. Assessment paying California avocado growers may request these signs for their property. Simply fill out CAC’s online Avocado Theft Protection Sign Request form or download the form, and mail it to: CAC, 12 Mauchly, Suite L, Irvine, CA, 92618.

Theft-related information can be submitted to the hotline at, or by calling (949) 754-0733. It is important to provide the following information when reporting a theft:

  • your name
  • contact phone number
  • address or intersection where theft occurred
  • date of theft
  • time of theft
  • pounds of fruit stolen
  • other items taken or vandalized

The California Avocado Commission‘s Anti-Theft Reward Program provides a monetary reward, of up to $5,000, to individuals who provide information leading to the arrest/conviction of another for unlawful possession of California avocados, or for information leading to the return of stolen fruit, or for information leading to the prevention of an avocado theft in progress.

For more information regarding the Commission’s reward program, click here.



Kings County Bees-1The Kings County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Task Force is currently investigating a theft of over 500 bee hives taken from the area of Quail Avenue and Highway 41 in Kettlemen City.

The incident was reported to patrol on 03-08-14 (Saturday) during the evening after the owner returned to remove them from the orchard.

The boxes were last seen on Friday by the local farmer. It appears that two large trucks were used along with two forklifts based on tire impressions located at the scene.

Kings County Bees-2The boxes were single stacked with solid blue pallets on the bottom. The boxes are a mixture of white and gray in color with the numbers 35-25 stamped into them.

If you have any information or similar cases please contact the Sheriff’s Office, case number 14K005692.


PHONE (559) 584-1431 FAX: (559) 584-4738

Kings County Bees-3

Ag Crime: Stolen Trailer Recovered


Ag Crime Assistance Requested:  The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Unit is looking for any information on a recovered, stolen trailer. The only markings on it appear to be hand stamped.antiCrime

Description: PJ Trailer, 2 Axle, had a “Trailer Barn” sticker on it, was stolen at least 3 years ago.

If you have any information on who it might belong to, please contact Officer Mark Ernstrom at: (805) 431-5529.