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Subway starts new security measure that sprays dye on thieves

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Subway is arming itself against store thieves. (iStock)

Sandwich thieves beware, you’ve been marked.

Subway will be soon adding an extra measure of security to protect its tens of thousands of franchise locations around the country, reports WATE. Instead of extra alarms or bells, the new security system, manufactured by SelectDNA, actually sprays intruders, robbers, or other criminals, with a chemical that marks offenders as they try to exit the shop.

The Intruder Security System has already been installed in a Knoxville, Tenn. Subway—the first for the nation's sandwich chains.

“It’s exciting to lead in something that’s not just on the food side of things,” Subway Director of Operations AJ Underwood, told WATE.

Here's how it works. A box filled with the dye unique to a particular store, called DNA, is kept above entryways. In the event or a crime, a mechanism will release the traceable spray onto the offender as he or she tries to exit. The dye glows when exposed to a blacklight, can't be washed off and stays on for up to seven weeks.

"It's another tool in our tool bag to help fight crime, especially violent crime, which is what a robbery is," Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Holliday told WATE.

The technology has been used in 30 countries around the world with “great success” according to WATE. Subway says they will hang new signs in sandwich store windows to deter potential criminals from committing crimes within.

 “For the KPD [Knoxville Police Department] it’s great, they can catch people who do this, but I think for us it’s the factor of deterring people from even doing it at all,” said Underwood.

Check out a SelectDNA promotional video to see the technology in action.