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Laptop found in p-lab

BELINDA FEEK – Waikato Times

A laptop stolen from a Hamilton school was returned to them over the weekend after its details were registered on the independent serial registry SNAP.

The laptop was found at a Beerescourt house which was at the centre of an armed standoff two weeks ago when a 42-year-old man was charged with drug and kidnapping charges.

Detective Sergeant Carl Moon of the Hamilton CIB said officers found the school's laptop while searching a suspected p-lab at the MacDiarmid Rd house. 

"We found the device's serial number and on checking it contacted who we thought were the victims, a Hamilton school.

"They informed us their equipment had been forensically marked with synthetic DNA which when an ultraviolet light was applied to it, showed up on the laptop."

Mr Moon said by recording the serial number of electronics on recording databases, such as those available on Operation SNAP, or marking items with synthetic DNA it made the police's job easier if the items were stolen.

"Too often we come across property in scenarios similar to this one but are unable to prove the item is stolen.

"Imagine how frustrating it is for Police to have to return items to offenders because we can't prove it is stolen, in this case with the forensic marking we'll be able to return the laptop to the school."

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After Word:  The synthetic DNA product used by the school was SelectaDNA and was given to the school as part of the BNZ Safer Schools Programme currently being run across the country. The Waikato district was the first to receive the DNA Kits which now sees over 700 schools using the product to forensically mark their property.

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