Red Deer RCMP and Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre are using new technology to help tackle property crime.
They are using ProtechDNA, a high-tech forensic adhesive that can be swabbed on all types of property and allow for identification. Suspended in the adhesives are thousands of tiny, microscopic dots etched with a unique serial number. Property owners set up a free online account and link their serial number with their items.
If lost or stolen property is recovered, law enforcement will be able to search the item and obtain its identifying serial number.
“While this solution can be used on virtually any piece of property, our initial focus is on catalytic converters, as this has been an ongoing and expensive theft trend in our community,” says Denise Rambow, programs and services co-ordinator with Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre (CACPC).
“Once applied, the catalytic converter is much more traceable and therefore less desirable to steal. Pairing this new technology with the RCMP’s usual monitoring of local scrap dealers and pawn shops will serve as an added deterrent for thieves.”
Members of the RCMP can scan stolen items and check for ProtechDNA and once located can input the unique serial number and cross match it to the owner.
“This is an added tool in our policing toolbox that will assist us in identifying and returning stolen property but also help identify those responsible,” say Cpl. Mike Evans from Red Deer RCMP Youth and Community Action Team.
“We appreciate any assistance the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre and ProtechDNA can provide.”
According to a release, CACPC will oversee the microdot registry program and inventory collection.
Red Deerians interested in purchasing a kit can visit CACPC’s website at www.cacpc.ca. The kits are $30 each and will also be available at the CACPC booth at the Red Deer Home Show. A window warning sticker is included with the kit to deter criminals. Since a majority of stolen property is sold at pawn shops for quick cash, as added protection all user inventory is cross-matched with pawn shop transactions and other popular second-hand platforms to help identify stolen property and notify law enforcement.
While Red Deer RCMP will be one of the first agencies to launch the program in Canada, thousands of other law enforcement agencies throughout the United States currently use this product.