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St. Louis company wants to 'fog out' smash-and-grabs

"You can't steal what you can't see."

KIRKWOOD, Mo. — In a few weeks, several St. Louis companies will install fog machines as a way to prevent smash-and-grabs.

Scott Bader owns Spencer Commercial Cleaning

While cleaning up a ransacked Walgreens following riots in 2020, Bader started to research security methods. His research took him to the U.K. where fog machines were being used to thwart thieves in seconds. 

"It gives you a chance to actively deter a theft rather than just report it and get it on camera,” Bader said. 

"You can't steal what you can't see. Once one of these foggers goes off, the thieves go right back out the door they came in. If they leave, they probably aren't coming back to the same store because they know it's protected like that," he said. 

Bader distributes Density Instant Fog Protection, a non-lethal method that is highly effective and can be triggered remotely.

"About 22% of the time (security systems) stops a criminal from stealing something,” Bader said. 

“The siren goes off, whatever. When you add a security fogger to it, that's 97% of the time," he said. 

Bader said prices start around $7,000.

Sunny’s Cantina was broken into early Wednesday morning. The thieves only took a drink and an old iPhone said Manager Kelly Filla. 

The manager said she’s always felt safe and was frustrated by the damage the group caused. Filla is curious but has questions about the fogging method.

"So, it would cloud any video camera taping that we would've gotten, so we wouldn't see (the suspects) at all,” Filla said. 

“So that would be a downfall. Other than that, it may force (the burglars) to leave the way they came. You would almost have to experience it to see if it worked well enough," she said. 

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