PERSONAL possessions that have been lost or stolen are being recovered by Police and reunited with their grateful owners due to the fact that they were security marked with SelectaDNA.
One recent example includes the case of a lost mobile phone which was traced back to its owner, who had mislaid it while collecting her daughter from school in Grays, Essex. Without realising it, the phone fell out of the owner’s pocket as she got back into her car.
A passer-by found the phone on the pavement in College Avenue. As he examined it, he saw a tamper-proof sticker indicating that it was invisibly marked using a SelectaDNA permanent marking kit. He took the phone immediately to Grays police station.
SelectaDNA is a transparent marking solution that contains a unique DNA code that cannot be duplicated. The solution also contains coded microdots and UV markers that are only visible under a microscope or UV torch. When an item such as a mobile phone, laptop, iPod or piece of jewellery is marked it is then immediately linked to the owner via the code.
The kit contains a registration card so that the owner can fill out their contact details and these are then placed on a secure police database. In the event of the item being recovered after a loss or theft, police can then access the details from the database and trace the owner easily.
Alan Twine, Crime Reduction Officer, Thurrock South Western Division, was responsible for reuniting the lost mobile with the woman from Grays.
He said: “After examining the lost phone under a microscope, I was able to trace the owner by the unique code that was on the microdots contained within the SelectaDNA marking. Once I had checked the code against the names registered on our database, I was then able to contact the owner the same day.
“She was extremely grateful and impressed that we had recovered the mobile before she had even reported it lost. Apart from the monetary value of the phone there was a lot of personal information and contact numbers on it which would have caused her major inconvenience had the mobile not been recovered. She came into the police station to collect it the very next day.”
Another example of a successful recovery which came about thanks to SelectaDNA, involved an expensive mobile phone that was reunited with its owner who had accidentally left it in the local Co-op Store on Askew Road in Shepherds Bush, west London.
A shop assistant found the phone and reported the loss to the police. A member of the local Safer Neighbourhood team came round the same day, examined the phone and found the SelectaDNA sticker on the back. Using a special UV torch to read the forensic marking, the Police were able to restore the phone to its rightful owner within a matter of minutes.
The recovery came about following the successful launch of a crime prevention initiative using SelectaDNA in the Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush areas of West London.
PC Adrian Simmons Crime Prevention Officer based at Hammersmith Police Station said: "In summary, our results illustrate SelectaDNA’s effectiveness on several fronts. It has helped achieve a significant reduction in both burglary and theft from cars, plus its potential for enabling speedy restoration of property has been proved.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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