In the Netherlands' port city of Rotterdam, crime is way down, thanks to ... a little scientific innovation. Hoping to reel in the number of robberies, police began dishing out DNA spray to beleaguered restaurants and jewelry stores. The spray, which emits a mist laced with synthetic DNA markers unique to the business's location when activated by employees, both marks the would-be robber and alerts police that a crime is occurring. The intention is to intimidate crooks, say police.
A sign on the front door of one previously burgled McDonald’s reads: “You Steal, You’re Marked.” Police, who note they haven't yet made an arrest by using the mist, say such tactics are working, and report a significant decline in crime rates. The New York Times reports that the city is also pushing the use of DNA crayons, which can be used to mark pricey items like computers or cameras.