NCCo Police introduce new crime-fighting tool

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     Before and after pictures show a watch marked with the undetectable liquid adhesive and how that mark glows under UV light. (Shirley Min/WHYY)

    Before and after pictures show a watch marked with the undetectable liquid adhesive and how that mark glows under UV light. (Shirley Min/WHYY)

    The New Castle County Police Dept. introduced a new liquid adhesive it believes will reduce property thefts within the county.

    Long Island, NY-based crime lab, Applied DNA Sciences, engineered the product. The liquid adhesive called “DNAnet” allows people to permanently mark or tag valuables with a unique plant-based DNA sequence specific to each owner. The mark is only visible under ultraviolet light. 

    “If residents or businesses within a community mark their valuables with even the smallest amount of this liquid, law enforcement officers are able to locate the mark, identify the rightful owner of the property and return the property to its owner,” said Mike Nizich, Dir. of Security Asset Sales, during a news conference Tuesday morning.

    “With Applied Science’s help, the average person is going to be able to mark their property. Anything as small as a ring, as big as a car and anything in between,” said Col. E.M. Setting, chief of police. “For a little less than $70, we’re gonna be able to walk into a pawn shop, identify the property and take it back and return it to its rightful owner. I think this is going to be a game changer as people begin to realize the huge benefit to having a unique DNA seal on every piece of their property.”

    Under his leadership, Setting said property crime in New Castle County has decreased by 50 percent. 

    “Now we’re going to take the next step in science. As police changes, policing in America changes, we change ahead of it,” Setting said. 

    Nizich said each kit costs $69.95 and can be bought online at www.adnas.com. It comes with a 5 ml bottle of the sticky fluid that holds a unique signature associated with a particular homeowner or address. Applied like nail polish, Nizich said one bottle can mark 150 valuables.

    New Castle County Police Dept. is the first law enforcement agency in the state to utilize this new technology. 

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