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Stop burglars and theft
Stop burglars and theft


Mark your property with


Stop copper, plant, machinery & tool theft

General Summary

Theft of copper strapping, copper cable and other copper & semi-precious metal items has again been on a sharp increase.  This is seen to be primarily due to the rise in the market price of copper & other metals and the relative easy opportunity that either storage or use of these metals in a commercial sense presents to would-be thieves.  Power Utilities, Water Utilities, Construction Companies, Builders, Churches, Schools and Tradesmen suffer continual problems with theft of copper & other precious metal items.  Theft often involves the thieves cutting through perimeter fencing, breaking through gates or gaining access through poorly maintained adjoining property boundary fencing with subsequent risks of:

  • Theft/Loss of material (copper, other metals, etc)

  • Damage to fencing/gates, including reduced integrity of security

  • Vandalism resulting in damage to buildings, plant and equipment

  • Potential interruptions to Customer service levels

  • Compromising electrical infrastructure that could result in serious injury or death

  • Subsequent entry by third-party and electrical contact resulting in serious injury or death

  • Injury to employees resulting from compromised electrical infrastructure

  • Power outages due to compromised electrical infrastructure damaging business reputation


Typically the amount of metal stolen is low ($500 - $5000), however the risk exposure from a serious injury or death in some cases is in the order of $3M[1].  The attractiveness of subsequent third party entry to some of these sites is primarily with adolescents and the adverse publicity associated with a serious injury to these people would be significant.


In addition to strengthening perimeter security, security patrols and alarms, a more comprehensive approach to loss prevention would involve companies adopting a market reduction approach[2] to reduce the theft, loss or damage to company property.  A key element of this approach is property marking.


Property marking has long been recognised as crucial measure in discouraging and detecting crime and should therefore be considered when adopting a comprehensive loss prevention strategy for copper and other semi-precious metals.  MicroDOTS provide the simplest practical method of property marking available.


Property marking, associated signage and public education act to reduce the attractiveness of metal assets to thieves by making them identifiable after the event.  It is recommended that this approach be undertaken across any industry sector utilising copper and other semi-precious metals, thereby discouraging theft and significantly reducing the risk of other damage and personal injuries.

[1]     Rule of thumb provided by Marsh Risk Consulting

[2]     Australian Institute of Criminology. The market reduction approach to reducing property crime.  AICrime Reduction Matters No. 32. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.


Leading-edge MicroDOTS employ a metal substrate, which is electrically etched with a unique identifying code and cannot lose any information as a result of sunlight, high temperatures or usage time.  It is a very robust product and has significant advantages over older microdot technology, which typically uses a plastic substrate that is subject to destruction in sunlight and/or high temperatures, heavy degradation over usage time and de-lamination within its own adhesive after 6 or more months.  None of these issues exist with MicroDOTS.


MicroDOTS can range in size from 0.3mm to 3.0mm and can be packaged to mark items via a rapid application pressure-pak spray, very simply from a “brush-wand” applicator, or manually from a plastic jar.  Each MicroDOT contains a hologram, which is impossible to replicate (see image below).  In addition, each MicroDOT in a pack contains a chemically-etched unique PIN, which is subsequently registered against the owner of the marked property.  Warning labels and item stickers are included in MicroDOT Kits as overt announcements to a would-be thief that items are marked for Police identification.


MicroDOTS are simply a modern and very simple way to “engrave” property.  MicroDOTS are very easy to apply and then extremely difficult to detect and remove.  Items of all shapes and sizes can be marked with MicroDOTS in just a few seconds.  Used with warning labels and item stickers, MicroDOTS provide a very effective “hardening” layer of security for valuable property of any kind.

Graphic of an expanded MicroDOT

The MicroDOT Theft Deterrent Model for Copper

Theft Schematic for Copper Theft

MicroDOT Dispensers

Brush-wand dispensing MicroDOTS
MicroDOT plastic vials
MicroDOT Spray Can

MicroDOT identification kits are provided with a “brush-wand”, small plastic jar, and/or a can of propellant, each dispenser including the unique identifying MicroDOTS inside.  This identifying code on the MicroDOTS can be generic or can be produced with a holographic Company logo as the MicroDOT background.


MicroDOT identification kits, can be enhanced with the addition of supporting signage, warning labels & item stickers.  These supporting items provide overt announcements to would-be thieves that property is marked for Police identification.


Standard kits are provided with product support materials, such as Application & Registration Instructions.

MicroDOT identification kits provide a very fast, mobile and easy way to deliver identification to virtually any item that may be a target of theft.  They are most commonly used where there are items of value to be marked for identification as a primary loss prevention strategy.  Some items commonly marked are Laptops, PC’s, flat screens, digital projectors, whitegoods, and other office equipment & business assets.  Equally, the kits are also very useful for marking metal assets (particularly copper items), tools, plant, equipment, machinery & materials.  In fact, a MicroDOT solution can be effective in virtually any circumstance where there are items of real or intrinsic value that may be a target of theft.

Usage Summary - Copper & Semi-precious Metals

  • Earthing Straps

  • Cable

    • Installed​

    • Still on Reels

  • Wiring

  • Busbars

  • Piping

  • Water Meters

  • Telecommunications Cabling

  • Inspection Doors & Plates

  • Air Conditioning Units

  • Door & Window Frames

  • Tools of Trade

    • Power Tools​

    • Non-power Tools

    • Plant

    • Machinery

    • Equipment

    • Tool Boxes

    • Precision equipment

    • Generators

    • Compressors

    • Pumps

    • Ladders

    • Scaffolding

  • Administrative Assets​

    • PC's​

    • Laptops

    • Printers

    • TV's

    • AV Equipment

    • Cameras

    • Mobile Phones

  • Vehicles​

    • Maintenance Vehicles

    • Company Cars

    • Utes

    • Trucks

    • Trailers

  • Staff's Private Assets:

    • Home contents

    • Private Vehicles

    • Motorcycles

    • Boats

    • Jet Ski's

    • Bicycles

  • Churches

    • Bells​

    • Crosses

    • Ritual Items

    • Plaques

    • Decorative Features

    • Gravestone Markers

    • Headstone Decorations


  • Mark (overtly and/or covertly) copper & other metal items with unique identification.  With associated warning signage & labelling, this provides a unique “hardening” layer of security for each item.

  •  Announce clearly to would-be thieves, staff, suppliers, business associates and the community at large that all copper and other metal of value is marked for Police identification.

  •  Full commitment to the MicroDOT solution will significantly increase the risks involved to a would-be thief, in stealing copper and other metals.

  •  Higher risk of theft and lower returns (cash and/or drugs) for identifiable stolen property, will significantly reduce incidences of theft of copper and other metals.

  •  Less theft typically results in direct reductions in damage & vandalism caused as a result of thefts.

  •  Lower theft rates mean significantly reduced interruptions to business processes and far less imposts on staff caused as a result of theft.

  •  Lower theft means less power outages and less disruption to Customer services.

  •  Less copper theft from power utilities means less risk to both staff and the general community of compromised power circumstances.

  •  Reductions in site breaches, damage & subsequent theft, has a very positive impact upon staff’s feelings of safety and well-being.

  •  Identification of copper and other metals improves the potential for return of stolen items when found.

  •  Identification of copper and other metals enables Police to upgrade charges against criminals caught with stolen property.

  •  Identification of copper and other metals will improve conviction rate of criminals perpetrating theft of copper and other metal assets.

  •  Improved catch & conviction rate of criminals, is a significant dis-incentive for future occurrences of theft.

  •  Reduced theft has an immediate impact upon the “bottom line”.


Protect the Lot!

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