We'll compare these with the file at the plant. Any unknown ones we'll check with the local police. If they can't help, we'll fly them to Washington at once for identification.That's it; the best 1955 science fiction way to get fingerprints to Washington was to fly them!
However, before the Bell Labs patent application (1958) and the Nobel prize (1964) and long before any successful popularization and President Reagan's Star Wars aspirations, Tom Swift used a knockout weapon - a monochromatic infrared beamer; essentially a laser!
On another strange note, one the scientists working with Tom Swift was Stan Lee.
This book is a fine tale of crazy scientists, back robbers, and derring do by the brilliant young Tom Swift.