Is This Malaysian-made Accessory The Answer To Snatch Thieves?

Snatch thefts are an all-too-common Malaysian problem, perhaps due to the prevalence of both motorcycles and crime in the country.

The horrendous thing about snatch thefts is that they almost exclusively target women, especially those walking alone. And because they happen so fast, unless a CCTV happens to capture their number plates, snatch thieves almost always get away with their crimes. Being robbed is bad enough– being robbed in such a violent manner is worse. The nature of snatch thefts leaves their victims seriously injured, or worse.

Because of this threat, women are afraid of walking alone. How many times have we been told to hold our bags in a certain way, to always walk with a friend, to avoid staying out too late?

Imagine then, if there were only a device that would keep snatch thieves at bay. Or better yet, help to capture them.

Enter the Handbag Dyetonator.


Created by the folks at local sportswear brand Ash Be Nimble, the Handbag Dyetonator is their latest effort to empower Malaysia’s women to pursue the lives they want.

At first glance, the device seems to be a non-descript, normal-looking thing. It looks like a standard handbag charm or keychain. But don’t be fooled by its humble appearance– the device hides some seriously awesome technology.

First, its inner dye packet detonates remotely when a 6-digit code of your choice is SMSed to 36663. This can be triggered by any phone from a radius of within 10 metres. Within seconds, the Dyetonator will detonate. The resulting explosion serves both as a smoke flare to alert passersby of the theft, while the permanent dye powder marks the thief for identification.

The flare will burn for up to 4 minutes, so the faster you trigger the explosion, the higher your chances of finding out where the thief is as they try to escape. But even if you miss the flare, the Dyetonator is embedded with GPS chip that lets you track your stolen handbag.

Attach it to the side of your handbag, and you’re good to go. Of course, we hope you never have to use it.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy it yet. Created in partnership with advertising firm Ogilvy, The Handbag Detonator is currently in production and testing stages. Prices and availability have not yet been announced, but you can sign up on their mailing list to stay up to date.

In the meantime, you can (and should!) also sign their petition calling for harsher punishments for convicted snatch thieves.