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Dodge County starts using 'property DNA' to help reunite stolen items with rightful owners

Dodge County starts using 'property DNA' to help reunite stolen items with rightful owners

JUNEAU, Wis. - There's a new technology at the Dodge County Sheriff's Office that could help deputies get stolen items back to their rightful owners.

It's from the company ProTech DNA. The company sends you an adhesive that you can wipe on your more expensive items, like a TV or phone. The adhesive has a microscopic PIN that you register online. ProTech DNA calls it DNA for property.

“’DNA for property’ is a special forensic adhesive that can be applied to all types of valuables,” the company wrote in a news release. “The adhesive is swabbed on an item and will permanently dry clear and invisible to the naked eye. Suspended in the adhesive are thousands of ‘microscopic dots’ .05mm in size.”

If an item of yours is stolen, the deputies can verify suspected matches by looking at the dried adhesive under a device attached to their phone cameras.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said this will be a big help.

“It's a very useful tool for us to say, ‘No, you didn't buy this at a store,’” Schmidt said. “’It's not your friend’s. This is the victim's because it has their DNA on it that has a unique identifier on it that is specific to them.’”

Dodge County resident Joan Kreuziger said she thinks it’s a good idea and said she might use it for her bike.

“I think it's a wonderful idea,” she said. “It's a pity a person has to be afraid of your bike getting stolen just by getting out there and wanting to do a good thing for your body and your health. … “If the sheriff's department has something that will help elude this or get your bike back I think it's a fantastic idea.”

Those interested in signing up can do so at protechdna.com. Users only pay to get the kit sent to their home. Schmidt said the sheriff’s office pays nothing for the service because insurance companies have covered the cost.

Dodge County is one of the first agencies in Wisconsin to use the technology. More than 5,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the country use it, according to the news release.
 

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