A SUDDEN increase in metal theft from an historic village in County Durham has resulted in SelectaDNA Grease being used in a police initiative to deter burglars.
Over recent weeks, homes in Trimdon village (where evidence of a pre-historic burial ground has been discovered) ) have been targeted by metal thieves who have stolen lead flashing from bay windows and porches in the area. There has also been an attempt to steal lead from one of the ancient village churches, which dates back to 1145.
Durham Constabulary has since supplied John Burton, church warden at St Mary Magdelene church, with SelectaDNA Grease which is being used to mark lead on the church premises. The grease has also been supplied to other public buildings in the locality.
SelectaDNA Grease has been specially designed to uniquely identify outdoor materials such as lead roofing and copper piping, which are particularly vulnerable to theft. Police routinely scan suspected burglars for traces of DNA, which shows up on their hands and clothes under UV detection equipment and links them directly to the scene of their crime.
Many police forces across the UK are using SelectaDNA Grease as a formidable metal theft deterrent. Items protected with the DNA grease become too hot for thieves to handle and the second-hand value of marked metal drops enormously.
Sergeant Brian O’Connor from Fishburn and Old Trimdon Ward's Neighbourhood Policing Team explains how the grease can ultimately catch thieves in the act.
He said: “SelectaDNA Grease indelibly marks any criminals who touch it. When a thief comes into contact with the grease, it transfers onto their hands and clothing. The grease is almost impossible to remove and contains both a UV tracer and a unique DNA code. Once you have the UV grease on your hands you have handled stolen items.”
Sgt O’Connor concluded: “The message we want to send out to any prospective thief is that measures are now in place in Trimdon and that they will be caught.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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