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DNA Spray Puts Burglar Away

  • DNA Spray identifies man after convenience store burglary
  • Pleaded guilty after DNA markings linked him to crime

Birmingham, 19th December 2016

A man has been arrested by West Midlands Police and sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after he was sprayed with incriminating SelectaDNA Spray during a burglary at a convenience store in Birmingham.

George Foley, aged 21, from Erdington, Birmingham, committed the crime in September at a store in Sutton Coldfield. He pleaded guilty to burglary after he was shown traces of the SelectaDNA Spray on his skin and clothing, giving the Police irrefutable evidence to link him to the crime scene.

PC Andrew Hollies of West Midlands Police said: "The DNA Intruder spray was activated when Foley jumped behind the counter at the store to steal bottles of alcohol. The unique, synthetic DNA markings in the spray mist are invisible to the naked eye but visible under UV light. Police routinely scan all offenders coming in to police custody for these marks, which are traceable back to the crime scene and can last on skin and clothing for months. In this case, the spray was able to help secure a conviction as it linked Foley directly to the store and his crime."

The multi-national chain is using SelectaDNA Spray at its sites across the West Midlands, Manchester and London, in order to deter break-ins. Since its introduction to nearly 200 sites as part of a successful trial in early 2016, burglaries have reduced across their whole estate.

The Spray is designed to combat burglary and robberies, and protects valuable items of retail stock such as alcohol and tobacco. Warning signs and window stickers are used to alert potential criminals that the system is in use and to dissuade them from targeting the protected premises.

James Brown, Managing Director of SelectaDNA, said: "As with any successful security strategy, it is all about keeping one step ahead of the criminals. Activation of the system is not the goal, but rather to make would-be criminals think twice. However, if offenders are determined to commit crime, they will be sprayed with the DNA mist, providing irrefutable evidence for police to secure convictions. SelectaDNA Spray literally makes criminals 'marked' men and means it is impossible for them to deny their crimes."