By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) — Burglaries are a nightmare scenario. Let’s say someone is out to dinner with their family—and they feel secure since they know they’ve locked the door and set the alarm. However, when they return, the front door is broken and everything that can be lifted—that new flat-screen TV, a laptop, a priceless work of art—is gone. The only things that remain are either bolted to the floor or too heavy to carry. Thankfully, they left the dog asleep on the couch, blissfully unaware that anything has happened—or perhaps he did bark a bit but none of your neighbors paid attention.
But wait, thinks the homeowner—didn’t I just install a new electronic security system?
Many home security systems operate through some combination of alarm, cameras and record-keeping typically done with serial numbers. In most cases, these are effective deterrents for thieves. Usually an alarm will scare burglars away, while alerting the security company that a break-in has occurred. As they invade a home, cameras can record criminals’ movements and capture their faces and identities, and perhaps even a license plate number, depending on where these cameras are situated. Serial number record-keeping is also reliable—it enables homeowners to replace lost or stolen merchandise through their insurance company.
However, when viewed a little closer, these methods start to show serious flaws. Alarms are effective, but not if the thief can circumvent it and still makes off with valuables before the police can arrive. Cameras can capture a face, but are also easily foiled if the criminal wears a ski mask or even a stocking over his face. Serial numbers are mostly foolproof, but how will goods be replaced if burglars file those numbers off, as many of them do with stolen goods?
Applied DNA Sciences, a company based in Stony Brook, NY, may have a solution that can help fill these gaps in most home security systems. Its DNAnet™ home asset marking technology in development puts a unique DNA mark on the valuable items in a home using an indelible, fluorescent, DNA-tagged substance that links all stolen items to the owner. When police recover the items, they can run a black light over them to reveal the fluorescent tag that links the valuables to the owner. The tag isn’t visible under normal light, but when exposed to black light it becomes a beacon marking the goods as stolen. Another of the company’s innovative security products, Applied DNA Sciences’ SmokeCloak® DNA security fog, coats criminals with a DNA-derived marker hidden in a cloud of smoke.
“Protecting assets is the name of the game,” says Dr. James A. Hayward, President and CEO ofApplied DNA Sciences. “With the right measures in place, including our DNAnet technology, homeowners can feel comfortable leaving their house and going about their day—or evening.”