After reading this nugget in the New York Times ("A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away"), I knew I had to share this story. This synthetic DNA spray was developed in Britain by two brothers: a police officer and a chemist. The posted signs alone are helping reduce the crime rate. The tasteless and odorless spray sticks like glue to the criminal for weeks, and causes a bluish glow under UV light; it inextricably links the bad guy (or girl) to the scene where it was sprayed.
For more information about this technology to prevent crime and catch criminals, check out SelectaDNA and their product brochure. This article in the Toronto Star further explains how the spray works. This deterrent is currently being used in the Netherlands, the U.K., New Zealand, and Germany. The Bank of New Zealand has installed the security device at all of its branches.
According to AOL News, the security group of the British company Selectamark is in talks with U.S. companies.
I wouldn't be surprised if the sale of portable black light UV flashlights will increase, so that criminals can check themselves. Although the spray can be detected for up to two weeks, it may be possible for the criminal to wash it off; however, removing it from inside the nostrils, ears, and under fingernails would be a challenge. Also, robbers will probably wear protective gear and then ditch it. They always find ways to get around crime detection, or at least make attempts to avoid detection.
I'm sure this new technology will fascinate mystery and crime fiction writers and their stories will include the use of these devices real soon.