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Anti-theft system deploys blinding fog to deter smash-and-grab robbers as retail theft soars

As retail theft soars, one company is providing storefronts with an added layer of deterrence by deploying blinding fog to stop smash-and-grab robbers in their tracks

An anti-theft system could turn the tide on would-be robbers by deploying a thick fog to deter potential thieves from carrying out crippling retail robberies. 

DensityUSA President Mike Egel touted the technology, which has been around for years in Europe and Australia. He said that typically, the system is meant to deploy automatically during overnight hours. 

"There are a few municipalities that will allow us to do this during the daytime when customers are there. So this is really an overnight deterrent for the huge smash-and-grabs where they're going into the retail stores en masse," Egel said during "Fox & Friends" Tuesday. 


"The beauty is it's a dry, dense fog that really is benign. So the only thing is, you can't see it to steal it," he continued. "So whether there's employees or customers in the store, as long as you're communicating that and letting folks know to just stay in place, they'll be just fine."

The DensityUSA system is connected to the retailer's security system and deploys the blinding fog "with near-zero visibility conditions in just seconds," Egel previously told Fox News Digital. 

It leaves little to no residue and is safe for use around people and pets, explained.

"The fog is designed to be dense and disorientating to prevent an intruder from following through on their intentions," the website reads. "The result: intruders can’t steal what they can’t see, your valuables are protected, and the burglary prevented."

The company is based in St. Louis, but the European Union was the first to approve the fog machine as a crime deterrent.

After seeing its success, Egel said he and his business partner, Scott Bader, introduced their security measure to the United States, which is used in stores in a handful of states.

"Throughout the EU, we're in 80 countries around the world quite honestly, and very effective," Egel said. "In Brazil, they put it in the ATM pods and that's one of the things that we're working on so that ATM pods can't get blown out, literally out of the walls."

"But high-end jewelry, retail gun stores, pawn stores, these are places where we're effectively being able to deploy those and prevent their assets from being stolen," he continued. 

Stores lost an estimated $86.6 billion to retail theft in 2022, and projections indicate that amount may reach $115 billion in 2025, according to Capital One Shopping Research.

FOX Business' Chris Eberhart contributed to this report. 

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