HUFFINGTON POST
01/24/2012 03:59 pm ET

Australian McDonald's Testing DNA Spray To Ward Off Thieves (VIDEO)

Thinking about stealing some hamburgers? You might want to think again.

Select McDonald's stores in Australia are now using a special invisible spray that douses the hamburglars as they exit certain establishments, the Daily Telegraph reports.

McDonald's decided to test out the system in certain restaurants after a store in Sydney had two robberies in one week. If it deems the technology successful in theft prevention, the company may install the system in other stores.

Although the spray isn't visible to the naked eye, police can see the DNA markings with the aid of a blacklight. The SelectaDNA product stays on clothes for about six months and on skin for up to two weeks.

The spray system has already been used in several McDonald's stores across Britain and Europe, and at least one store in the Netherlands has programmed the spray to go off when triggered by a panic alarm, according to the Telegraph. Each spray has a special DNA sequence specific to the store where the system is installed.

And bad news for thieves who think they can wash off the incriminating evidence: The spray won't come off their skin, no matter how hard they scrub, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

As a the writer for The Escapist Magazine puts it: "Basically, if you get caught in this stuff, you're screwed."

McDonald's stores aren't the first establishments to use the technology.

Gizmodo Australia notes that several jewelry stores have been using the spray for months. Additionally, the DNA security systems have been implemented at several banks across Europe and New Zealand.

The spray, which was launched in 2008, is non-toxic and non-allergenic.

A 2010 article by the New York Times looked at the effects of the DNA spray system in a Rotterdam McDonald's in the Netherlands. Police told the Times the technology had not resulted in any arrests, but they did suggest the system's warning signs -- placed on doors around the stores -- acted as a deterrent.

Watch the video above to see how the DNA spray security system works.

-

CONVERSATIONS