The Cranston Police Department takes an average of 1200 theft related offenses a year. A majority of these offenses involve items that do not have an individualized serial number or identification system that can be used to link the item to an owner, and a serial number is only effective if the owner maintains a record of the serial number and has it available when the crime is reported. Beyond these crimes reported in the City of Cranston, the police department also recovers an average of 1000 items a year related to break-ins, robberies, larcenies, and found property reports. In 2015 the items received had an estimated total value of $500,000.00. While some of these items can be traced back to the owners through serial numbers, owner applied numbers, and other identifying marks, many items remain unclaimed.
The Cranston Police Department is continually seeking out innovative ways to combat and deter crime in our City. Recently, we were made aware of a program that has been implemented in Camden County, NJ and several other counties in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. The program involves the marking of personal property and valuables with an individual DNA marker. This marker can help to identify and recover stolen items related to theft related crimes and also act to deter criminals from targeting our community. The Cranston Police Department is now participating in a new crime deterrent known as DNA Home Asset Marking.
The DNA Home Asset Marking Program enables home and business owners to mark property with a unique and invisible plant based DNA specific to the owner. The DNA mark on the property is easily identifiable by law enforcement utilizing a specific wavelength of light. The DNA mark is nearly impossible to remove. Homeowners who mark personal property with the plant based DNA are supplied signs and window decals warning would be intruders that their property is marked with plant based DNA.
Applied DNA Sciences manufactures a permanent, invisible liquid (DNAnet) that contains a unique plant based botanical DNA signature that comes in a small bottle with an applicator.
Under the DNA Home Asset Marking program, residents and home owners simply mark their valuables, including items like bicycles, jewelry, collectibles, and vehicle parts, like rims, with this invisible liquid. The marker can only be seen by exposure to a specific lighting frequency and is nearly impossible to remove from the items should a criminal make an attempt to remove the mark. If any of these items or vehicle parts are ever lost or stolen, upon recovery, members of the Cranston Police Department are now trained to identify the mark and send a sample back to Applied DNA Sciences where they can identify the rightful owner of the property. This process not only returns your property to you, but it also connects the suspect to the location of the crime increasing criminal convictions and jail time. All of this is supported by Applied DNA Sciences Expert Witness reports from their forensic scientists in Stony Brook, NY.
This technology has been implemented overseas for several years and is now available in the City of Cranston.
Cranston residents can benefit from this program in several ways:
1. Increase personal and family safety by making would-be thieves aware that your valuables are marked with DNA.
2. Deter crime in your neighborhood by placing the appropriate signage on your doors and windows creating a DNA Protected Area.
3. Some insurance companies have begun providing discounts based on the use of this risk reducing police supported initiative.
DNAnet Home Asset Marking Kits are $69.95 and can mark up to 100 valuables. There are no additional fees or contracts and program training and authentications are free to the police department for the life of the program. DNAnet Asset Marking Kits are available at http://dnasecurity.net/rhode-island/.