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Subway installs new DNA security system

(KNOXVILLE)  Crooks in Knoxville may get a bit of a surprise the next time they try to rob a Subway in West Knoxville. The store is the first in the nation to get new technology that sprays the bad guys with DNA as they run out the door.

The technology has been successful in at least 30 countries for the past decade.

Monday it was installed in the Knoxville Subway on Sutherland Avenue and will be the first time it’s been seen and tried in the U.S..

Quite a difference scene than a few months ago when that Subway was robbed by three men with guns in January. Now, they’re taking steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“If a robber comes in and robs the place, the system gets activated and on his way out he will get marked with artificial DNA,” Johan Larsen told Local 8News. He’s the senior vice president of CSI Protect.

The spray can only be seen with UV light and can stay on the suspect for up to 7 weeks.

“Another tool to get the bad guys,” says Deputy Chief of Police, Gary Holliday.

Knoxville police say often times a robber will hit more than one store. Each store’s DNA spray will have a specific code that police can test and send off to adatabase.

“This is a great tool because this actually shows they were there,” says Holliday, “It’s something we can test, something we canshow and it’ll be hard to deny that that mark is there.”

The technology costs about $5,000 to install. That cost includes intense signage, letting people know the store is protected.

A.J. Underwood, Subway’s director of operations, says it’s worth keeping the staff and customers safe.

“I think for us it’s more to deter the factor of people from doing it at all,” says Underwood.

CSI Protect and Subway are already planning on putting this system in other stores in Knoxville. CSI Protect is testing out some residential versions of the spray as well.

They chose East Tennessee because that is where CSI Protect is headquartered.