Copper Thieves Beware: Planted Plant DNA Will Bring the Coppers

Copper pipes on warehouse. 3d illustration

(DGIwire) — Copper is such a hot commodity these days that thieves are taking it from wherever they can find it, according to a recent article on From construction sites to railways and subways, suburban homes, and power plants and other critical infrastructure, copper is disappearing, adding to a $1 billion copper theft business just in the U.S. alone. Theft of the metal has soared as the wholesale price of copper has skyrocketed since about 2009. Thieves can take copper items to scrapyards and receive quick, plentiful cash in return.

Fortunately, a company called Applied DNA Sciences is on the case. Based in Stony Brook, NY, Applied DNA Sciences uses biotechnology as a forensic foundation to create unique security solutions that address these kinds of challenges. Whether working to ensure supply chain security and brand protection for retail chains and known brands, or for military or law enforcement applications, Applied DNA has made it its goal to provide cutting-edge solutions for every client.

In addition to anti-counterfeit solutions, the company provides supply chain protection, brand authentication and evidentiary solutions for law enforcement agencies. All these measures center on SigNature® DNA, the precision-engineered form of plant DNA it embeds into just about any type of material. In addition to paper and fabrics, SigNature DNA is compatible with plastics, metals, electronics and product packaging.

Confronting copper theft, Applied DNA is on the cutting edge, having recently teamed up with several countries in the European Union to help slash theft of the metal on a large scale.

“In the U.S., Applied DNA Sciences is actively speaking with copper manufacturers, their supply chain partners and other enterprises about adoption of our copper anti-theft technology, DNAnet®,” says Dr. James A. Hayward, President and Chief Executive Officer of Applied DNA Sciences.

The company’s copper theft protection technology rests on a plant DNA-based marker that can easily link copper thieves to the scene of their crimes. In the event of a theft, the copper retains an identifying mark that is not copyable and can be forensically authenticated.

As the crime is investigated, the DNA mark will assist police in forensically linking the offender to the stolen items and to the location from which it was taken. A similar technology has also been implemented for cash-in-transit, equipping cases of large sums of cash with this tagging agent.

“Counterfeit protection, no matter what the material, is a serious matter for international and domestic commerce,” adds Hayward. “We are pleased to help enterprises in the European Union combat copper theft, and are looking forward to likewise helping the U.S. tackle this issue.”

All of Applied DNA’s technology platforms are field-proven in harsh conditions such as outdoor environments, extreme heat and cold, and potent ink solutions. Through it all, the DNANet mark endures.

Okay, copper thieves: unhand that scrap metal, or the coppers will be on to you in no time.

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