Following a series of robberies at its Pitt Street store in Sydney, Angus & Coote has installed DNA technology in the store and begun rolling it out to other “high risk” stores around the country.
The retailer’s Pitt Street store has been robbed “four to five” times since opening in July last year and February this year, but has not been robbed since the installation of DNA technology in February.
Angus & Coote’s general manager of retail operations, Andre Oosthuizen, said he was very happy with the store’s change of fortune since the installation.
“I think criminals have seen our signs warning that we have installed the DNA Guardian system and are now going elsewhere looking for an easier target,” he said.
“They (the criminals) now know that if they get caught by the police they will get done as we have proof that they broke into our store.”
Developed by Adelaide-based DNA Security Solutions, the DNA technology provides “a forensic link” to the store by spraying the robber with a mixture of purified water, fluorescent dye and a “unique strand of DNA”.
The spray, which cannot be removed with washing, remains on the criminal’s skin and clothing “for weeks”. When the criminal is apprehended by police the “completely harmless and non-toxic solution” becomes visible under ultraviolet light and can be used as evidence.
Oosthuizen said that following the rollout of the technology to six high-risk stores in coming weeks, the company will begin introducing it into other “high-street” stores at the start of 2011.
“Jewellery stores in high-street locations are really vulnerable to snatch and grab attacks by petty criminals,” he said.
“I am confident that the DNA technology will act as a really good deterrent and am therefore already talking to our insurance company about reducing our costs.”