Plant DNA’s Starring Role in Protecting Our Cars from Theft.

Car theft.

(DGIwire) — If real life were anything like Hollywood movies, car thefts would be quick, flashy and go unpunished by law enforcement…especially if the person who stole the car is the movie’s hero, played by a handsome A-list actor. Audiences actually root for these characters, recklessly driving stolen Lamborghinis to pursue a “bad guy.” After all, no one ever solved any crimes by riding the bus. In real life, however, a car thief is never considered a hero. Stealing a car is considered Grand Theft Auto, the most expensive property crime in the U.S., according to

With nearly 800,000 car thefts in 2013 alone, a car has about a one in 270 chance of being stolen, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The good news is that the number of auto thefts has been declining slowly but steadily over the past decade. The same FBI report states that auto theft crimes are down 42.8 percent from 2003, due to increased public awareness and new technological developments that make cars both harder to steal and easier to track and identify. Still, while overall numbers of thefts are down, the numbers are still high, and worse, are largely perpetrated by global crime syndicates, a dangerous development.

Thieves are smart—they know that a car’s parts are worth more than its whole, which is the motivation behind so many car thefts. Many stolen cars are brought to “chop shops,” which are places where underground mechanics take apart these cars and pawn off their pieces for top dollar. In addition, disassembled cars are far harder to track and nearly impossible to identify for legal conviction—two big pluses for thieves.

For car owners everywhere, that could be about to change, thanks to Applied DNA Sciences, a leader in anti-counterfeit solutions based in Stony Brook, NY. It provides supply chain protection, brand authentication and evidentiary solutions for law enforcement agencies, manufacturers and textile companies around the world. Its groundbreaking product is DNAnet®, which is derived from full double-stranded plant DNA. With impenetrable ink marks, high-resolution DNA authentication and comprehensive reporting, Applied DNA’s botanical DNA-based technologies deliver the highest levels of security for any company.

So far, at least two well-known automakers have chosen to test this innovative new DNA marking technology to protect their vehicles. Here’s how it works: a unique double-helix plant DNA-based mark is designed and applied to multiple parts of each vehicle. The DNAnet marks are unique to each car, hard to locate and extremely difficult to remove.

DNAnet marks cannot be copied, are impervious to the most corrosive conditions and substances, and have unrivaled reliability. As more and more manufacturers continue to adopt this technology, local chop shops will face far greater odds of apprehension. This may well signal an even greater step forward in auto theft reduction.

Dr. James A. Hayward, President and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences, says, “Using our technology will help keep stolen auto parts out of the supply chain. If stolen parts can’t be sold, they may become worthless. As such, this may one day reduce the number of stolen cars.”

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