Matching stolen property with its owner can be a challenge. Manteca Police have found a new tool that will make the job easier.
They're called Anti-Theft Dots--tiny dots with laser-etched numbers that are entered into a database with the identity of the items owner.
The dots can be applied to bikes, tools, almost anything with a spray can, a special pen, or stickers.
Next month Manteca Police will start using a scanner to read those dots when they find stolen property.
Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion says most criminals won't see the dots.
"The dot is about the size of a tip of a pencil, very, very, very small but that serial number is imprinted on there 15, 20, 30 times," says Obligacion.
Obligacion says the dots can provide proof that the property is stolen.
"Convictions are nice but getting property back to the rightful owners is real important to us," he says.
More than 2 dozen police agencies in Southern California are already using the Anti-Theft Dots.
Manteca Police will be the first in Northern California.