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More than five million thefts occur nationally each year. And in many cases, once police have recovered the items, it's difficult for them to determine the rightful owner.
TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen demonstrated a new piece of technology that can help protect your property in the event of a robbery.
Using the technology from the company ProTech DNA, you can can get an anti-theft kit that allows you to tag your stuff with a tiny dot that will tell police its your property. You can sign up at ProTech DNA's website. It's completely free; all you pay is about $5 to get the kit shipped.
Here's how it works: The company assigns you a personal PIN number and sends an envelope with an adhesive gel in it. The gel has microscopic dots that can be used to trace ownership of the item specifically to you.
Apply the gel to anything you don't want stolen, and police can identify your personal pin with a UV light and a special camera. Over 5,000 police departments across the country have teamed up with Protech DNA, with the company adding about 1,000 more every month.
Your personal pin is then entered into the company's database, which produces your email and phone number. Each kit comes with enough gel to mark about 100 personal items.