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Stolen Equipment Returned To NZ School

Stolen Equipment Returned To NZ School

A SCHOOL in New Zealand has been reunited with a computer that was stolen thanks to New Zealand Police and SelectaDNA.

As part of the BNZ Safer Schools Programme (funded by the Bank of New Zealand), Newmarket School is one of over 2,000 schools in NZ that uses SelectaDNA forensic property marking to protect their valuable equipment from theft

The computer was stolen from Newmarket School in August 2012 and was recovered along with over 450 items as a part of a police swoop on offenders who were allegedly dealing drugs in exchange for stolen goods including jewellery, laptops and mobile phones.

Officers involved were able to ascertain the true owner of the computer because of an orange warning sticker used to indicate that the item had been marked with SelectaDNA.

Originating in the UK, SelectaDNA first emerged in 2004 from security company Selectamark plc. Since then, SelectaDNA has helped homeowners, businesses and schools protect their property, marking over 30 million valuable items in the process.

SelectaDNA is a glue-like substance that is virtually invisible.  It provides an evidential link between an item and its true owner through a unique DNA code that is embedded in the glue solution. It has a UV tracer within the solution that glows bright blue when a UV light is passed over it.

NZ Police officers located the DNA using their UV torches and had the computer analysed so that the unique code could be verified. They then linked this code back to Newmarket School via the details held on the SelectaDNA database.

David Morrissey, Director of SelectaDNA in NZ, said: “SelectaDNA is first and foremost a crime prevention tool. We encourage the community to be proactive in protecting their property and not become a victim of crime. We want to prevent theft from occurring, but also as in this instance, be able to give people the chance to get their valuable items back.”

Sergeant Dean McEntee, the School Community Officer for Auckland City, said: “Since the Safer Schools Programme was launched in Auckland last year we’ve noted fewer schools have been burgled which can only be good for everyone – pupils, teaching staff, parents and police – so we encourage the use of any crime prevention initiatives that have such tangible results.”

Newmarket School Principal Wendy Kofoed was delighted to get her property back.

“I have bought my second DNA kit as the quick return of this computer is a good testament to the DNA marking product,” she said.

For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.

Mobile: +44(0)7905 623819
Twitter: @selectadna

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