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Subway Implements New Security System That Sprays DNA on Robbers

In the new, maybe-gross system, authorities shine black light on possible criminals, looking for DNA traces.

Chris Livingston/Getty Images

Subway is rolling out a new security system to protect its tens of thousands of franchisees across the country, according to WATE. The Intruder Security System, produced by company SelectDNA, has been implemented in a Knoxville, Tenn. Subway store, the first of many planned installations by the Connecticut-based sandwich shop.

"It's another tool in our tool bag to help fight crime, especially violent crime, which is what a robbery is," offered Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Holliday. This is how it works: a mechanism sits above the door of the store. In the event of a robbery or violent crime, something (it's unclear exactly what) tips off the mechanism and releases a spray of traceable DNA onto the offender. Each store gets its own unique DNA spray.

That person is then marked, like Hester Prynne, and will glow when exposed to black light. A shower won't get the stuff off, either; the DNA stays on the person for seven weeks. And that, in a nutshell, is the innovative, possibly suggestive new way Subway is protecting itself from robberies. By releasing a stream of DNA onto a person and then looking for traces of it with a black light. Let your mind run wild.

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