Returning stolen property to its rightful owner is always a priority for local law enforcement.
But the task can prove difficult, especially if a criminal has removed the owner’s name, address or serial number from the product.
That’s why the Kissimmee Police Department is now participating in a free service called Protech DNA to make retrieving those stolen goods a little bit easier.
Protech DNA is a new technology that uses microscopic silver dots to link a homeowner with pieces of property that could be stolen.
Each individual who registers online with Protech DNA receives a unique set of microdots that can be applied with a Q-tip to valuables like jewelry, televisions, bicycles, guns and other items. The dots are suspended in an adhesive that takes about an hour to dry, and which can’t be removed with solvents or cleaners.
“This helps us identify your items, even if it’s been changed or refurbished,” said KPD Public Information Officer Bailey Myers.
It’s also good news for certain items like handguns. Even if a criminal files off a gun owner’s serial number, they can’t remove the microdots in Protech DNA.
The tiny dots are half the size of a grain of sand, but each is etched with a unique PIN number linked to the individual’s Protech DNA account. The PIN is a combination of number codes that can’t be duplicated – similar to human DNA - and only the homeowner has access to their registry, which serves as a log of personal property.
The Protech DNA database is connected to over 36,000 law enforcement agencies around the country and each one is equipped with a special detection kit that can read the microdots if they’ve been placed on a piece of property.
KPD started participating in the Protech DNA program last month after representatives from the company reached out to law enforcement.
Myers said the police department chose to participate in the program to get stolen property returned to residents more quickly.
“Our hope whenever we’re investigating a burglary or robbery is to return the items they value so much,” Myers said.
The first packet of Protech DNA is free.
For more information on Protech DNA, visit the website at www.protech