Richmond, Va., police are using Skunk Shot, a tiny tube of smelly gel that spreads skunklike fumes through an entire building, to keep drug dealers, prostitutes, and vagrants out of abandoned houses and commercial buildings, says the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The powerful scent covers up to 1,500 square feet and lasts up to a month. Lt. Thomas Nolan used the fragrance in a vacant house with a history of drug activity. When he and another officer arrived, they found a man sitting by himself inside. He was led out in handcuffs, charged with trespassing and cocaine possession.
The police department has used Skunk Shot in five buildings and plans to use it in many more, calling it a “low-tech,” inexpensive response to crime. It costs about $15 per tube. Officers are using it only in places that are listed with the city as vacant and have clearly posted “No trespassing” signs.