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Security firm hopes to smoke out thieves


Kevin Paul demonstrates the SmokeCloak , a technology designed to protect businesses and homes from intruders. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/JOURNAL)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Consider it something of a cloak-and-dagger approach.

An Albuquerque security company is selling a product that promises to stop thieves by enveloping them in a dense fog before they can make off with the goods.

An added benefit: the SmokeCloak vapor contains a DNA component that remains on humans at least three weeks and on clothing for longer and can be used to pin the suspect to the crime, said Kevin Paul, the product’s North American distributor.

A-Tech Security is the first New Mexico company to offer the product to its commercial and residential customers, President Rich Rosley said.

Rosley said his company tried to market the vapor blast about 20 years ago, but the $3,000 cost was prohibitive.

Although the cost remains about the same — $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the customer’s needs — Rosley said he thinks customers will now “take a good hard look at it” because of the city’s crime problems.

“Because of the heavy crime in Albuquerque, people are feeling at their wit’s end,” he said. “Anyone breaking in and getting smoke thrown at them is not going to stick around.”

The fog, which is made of the compound polyglycol, is triggered as part of an overall security system. The vapor is harmless, but it “cloaks” the entire area and reduces visibility to “less than an arm’s length,” Paul said.

“It’s designed to stop property loss during the time the alarm is activated and the police or security personnal arrive,” he said.