Invisible Forensic Marking Technology Identifies Jewelry Store Thief

Jewelry Store Thief

Shepherd Communication & Security announced the first successful use of synthetic forensic technology as a crime-fighting tool in the Northeastern United States.

Deploying innovative SelectaDNA technology, synthetic DNA evidence was captured following a larceny at Truman Jewelers in Albany. In that incident, a suspect made off with approximately $4,000 in merchandise. Unbeknownst to him, he was “misted” by a forensic Criminal Tagging System, which had been installed at the store by Shepherd Communication & Security as part of a pilot crime suppression initiative.


The forensic marking, or synthetic DNA, is applied covertly using a water-based, non-toxic solution that is invisible and remains on a suspect’s skin or clothing for months after being misted, enabling authorities to scientifically and irrefutably identify them long after a crime is committed.

Forensic mist detected using a special frequency UV light

In this case, after the alleged perpetrator was apprehended by Albany Police, forensic mist was detected on his person using a special frequency UV light. That evidence is now available to prosecutors as the case proceeds through the legal system.

“This pilot project was designed to demonstrate the value of forensic marking technology in combatting and deterring crime, and assisting with the apprehension of criminals. Today, we can say definitively that it works,” said Patrick Phelan, Executive Director, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

“This case is testament to the power of cutting-edge technology, such as SelectaDNA, and the important role it is playing in preventing and fighting crime.”

“As a downtown business owner for over three decades, I’m committed to creating a safe and secure environment in which my customers can shop and my staff can work with peace of mind,” said Paul Crabbe, Owner of Truman Jewelers. “This technology provides an added layer of protection, and combined with our proactive policies and the professional work of our law enforcement agencies, ensures we can focus on doing business and contributing to our community.”

Used in more than 30 countries

SelectaDNA forensic marking technology has been used in more than 30 countries over the past decade, but has only recently made its way to the United States. The system at Truman Jewelers is the first in the Northeast, but is expected to be joined in short order by entities ranging from retailers to financial institutions seeking to elevate their safety and security protocols.

Each unit of SelectaDNA contains a unique forensic code associated with a specific location, which can scientifically connect a criminal to a particular crime scene. The Criminal Tagging System can be activated in numerous ways, including a panic button, money clip, remote video monitoring, intrusion and access control systems and sensors.

“Forensic marking technology is poised to revolutionize the way business owners protect their employees, customers, workplaces and assets,” said Richard Ruzzo, Managing Partner of Shepherd Communication and Security of Albany, the exclusive Certified Dealer for SelectaDNA technology in the Northeast.

“We’re proud to be on the forefront of delivering this innovative technology to our clients, and to help them create robust security systems that address their number one priority: ensuring safety and security around the clock.”

“The crime at Truman Jewelers helps demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of SelectaDNA technology as we continue introducing this proven crime-fighting tool to the United States,” said Joe Maltese, Executive Vice President of CSI Protect, which is the exclusive distributor of SelectaDNA technology in North America. 

“We are excited to provide businesses and law enforcement with enhanced abilities to prevent and reduce crime, as well as identify, apprehend and prosecute offenders when a crime is committed.”

The primary focus of the technology is crime prevention

The primary focus of the technology is crime prevention, with a documented reduction in robbery, burglary and theft by an average of 40 to 86% where it’s deployed. When a crime is committed, the forensic marker enhances law enforcement’s ability to irrefutably identify criminals and items, and link them to a specific crime scene, and date and time.

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