DNA test has helped slash copper theft by more than 85%

June 5, 2014
The test has been widely adopted by European utilities and industrial companies to deter copper theft. It works with copper pipe and with brass and bronze fittings. It reduced copper theft for a European customer by 85%.

STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Applied DNA Sciences Inc., a biotechnology company that provides of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentication solutions and services, announced that its technology has been instrumental at slashing copper theft with one of its partners in the European Union. For security reasons, the specific partner has requested anonymity.

The copper anti-theft program, which has been in effect for about 18 months, helped to slash copper theft by more than 85%, according to officials of the partner company.

“In the U.S. alone, Applied DNA Sciences is actively speaking with utilities and other enterprises in the Northeast about adoption of the copper anti-theft technology, called DNAnet,” said Dr. James Hayward, CEO of Applied DNA Sciences.

An Applied DNA Sciences representative told CONTRACTOR that the test works with both copper pipe and electrical wiring and it would also work with brass and bronze plumbing fittings.

Sixty European power stations, two national railroads and commercial installations have now been protected by the APDN technology. In some cases, the APDN anti-theft program complemented other new anti-theft measures, such as video surveillance.

APDN's copper theft protection program relies on APDN's smartDNA product, a plant DNA-based marker that links copper thieves to the scene of their crimes. Safesolution SmartDNA AB, a Sweden partner of APDN, has played a leading role in adoption of the product.

The APDN copper program is an extension of a program that has been officially recognized in London, Northern England, France, multiple insurance companies, the U.S. military, the Swedish National Police, and enforced by all police forces throughout Sweden and the U.K. who have been fully trained on the smartDNA system.

“Copper asset protection, as well as protection against other kinds of metal theft, is an area that is ripe for growth, as demonstrated in Sweden,” Hayward said. “We are receiving inquiries from customers who recognize the importance of protecting their assets, minimizing their losses and ensuring that original products can be traced to their source.”

In the U.S., it is estimated that more than 95% of utilities experienced copper theft in the past 12 months with over 50,000 incidences nationwide.

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