AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Technology new to Amarillo promises to prevent burglaries by smoking out the robber.
Starting in February, a new type of home or business alarm system will be available in town, and it's called the SmokeCloak.
This device can be triggered manually or by a motion sensor, and when that happens a dense but harmless smoke can fill a room, house or store in seconds.
It doesn't take long before you can't see anything but smoke.
The idea is robbers will see the smoke start to expand, and be deterred from entering and stealing anything.
The company says "if you can't see it, you can't steal it."
"Usually break-ins are three minutes or less, so we fill that time gap between the alarm activating and the police response team showing up," said SmokeCloak president Kevin Paul.
DNA components in the smoke are traceable back to the scene of the crime.
"When the thief or the robber walks through the vapor, they instantly get tagged with a unique DNA that's unique to that location," said Paul.
So if a suspect is ever caught, forensics can trace the residue on their skin back to the exact SmokeCloak that emitted it.
Amarillo police said this type of forensic tracking may be problematic if criminals are taken to court.
"I'm not certain that the evidence that this particular company submits through their own lab would be of use to prosecutors," said Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department. "I think prosecutors will have to make that decision themselves based on their record."
But Barbee said this smoke technology could be helpful to homes and businesses in our area.
"It doesn't solve every problem but at the same time it can provide valuable evidence after the fact."
Burglaries in Amarillo are down about 10 percent from last year
Barbee said those numbers are constantly changing, and it's still wise to have an alarm in place.
Allstate Security Industries, Inc. (ASI) is the only local dealer of SmokeCloak.
If you're interested in installing one, visit their website.