New program can help accelerate recovery of stolen items, York-Poquoson sheriff says

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YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is using a program it hopes will connect property owners with their stolen items quicker.

ProtechDNA is a company that makes technology for crime prevention.

Company president Shawn Andreas joined Sheriff Danny Diggs to introduce the program for the first time in Virginia.

“We want to connect with every community and help give communities the advantage back over the criminals,” said president Shawn Andreas.  

Andreas says the program works through a gel adhesive that is put on personal items, such as cell phones, TVs, jewelry, firearms, and more.

The gel contains thousands of microscopic dots that have unique pin numbers.

Those numbers are registered to users and law enforcement agencies can track down the owners through a private database.

Sheriff Diggs says this will help them.

“It’s very difficult because a TV is a TV is a TV. How many people write down the serial number of their TV or other pieces of valuable property? Our property room is full of unclaimed property and we have to dispose of it,” he said.

Once registering for ProtechDNA, users get a free gel kit.

Local insurance agent Paul Clegg with Farmers Insurance sponsored the equipment that law enforcement needs to use to identify ProtechDNA users.

There are also DNA stickers for bikes, which are often stolen.

“We have hundreds of bicycles over the years we have to dispose of. So anything that helps us identify who the owner of stolen property is, is a win/win for everybody,” Diggs said.

Andreas says his company is already working with 5,000 law enforcement agencies across the country and hopes to work with 10,000 by the end of the year.

Diggs says he’s excited to bring the program to Virginia and hopes more agencies can catch on.

“The more people who use this, the more agencies that get involved, the more successful the programs are going to be. We’re glad they chose us in Southeast Virginia today,” he said.

Andreas says people can still register even if their local law enforcement agency does not use the program and that it is helpful for filling insurance claims because owners can upload pictures and serial numbers through their app.

He also stated that his company is working to cross reference pawn shop inventory, another place stolen items are taken.

To learn more, visit https://protechdna.com/.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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