GERMAN rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reported the arrest of two metal thieves in Neunkirchen, Saarland, after they tried to sell cable belonging to the company to a scrap metal dealer.
The dealer was immediately suspicious when he saw the cable and alerted local police.
The police established the cable was marked with a hi-tech, robust and uniquely-coded forensic DNA marking product and this allowed them to link it back to DB. The two men were subsequently arrested and taken into custody.
Donald van der Laan, General Manager of SDNA GmbH, partner of Deutsche Bahn in this initiative, said: "SelectaDNA Trace is ideal for outdoor metal marking projects. The solution, which comes in an easy-to-use aerosol contains a UV-Marker and two identifiers which identify who the registered owner is. The code on the metal particles contained in the solution can be read on-site without the need for laboratory analysis and is linked to a secure database which is accessible to Police at all times via a secure online login."
Metal thefts decrease by 10%
Metal thefts from Deutsche Bahn can be linked to the sharp rise in the price of copper. As a result, DB has initiated a package of measures against metal theft including the use of DNA to mark vital rail track, cable and infrastructure.
Gerd Neubeck, Head of Group Security at Deutsche Bahn, said: "Non-ferrous metal thefts have a major impact on our customers who are affected when routes are blocked and trains are late. The use of DNA makes it more likely that thieves will get caught."
Metal thefts at DB in the first half of 2012 have decreased by about 10% compared to the first half of 2011.
The group recorded around 2,000 cases of metal theft in 2010 and around 3,000 cases in 2011. The material damage alone amounted to 15 million Euros in 2011, with additional costs and damages coming from cancellations to services.
Metal has already been marked with DNA in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. From April this year, metal has also been marked in Saarland.
In July 2012, a security partnership to act against metal theft was formed by Deutsche Bahn, together with Deutsche Telekom, RWE and the German Association of Metal Traders.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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