Shifnal, United Kingdom, November 13, 2007
Infrared light picks out a handprint made with a high-tech solution on the door of St. Andrew's Church in Shropshire County.
To combat a sharp hike in the theft of lead tiles, thousands of U.K. churches are painting their roofs with SmartWater, which is impregnated with a DNA-style code. The solution is invisible unless viewed under ultraviolet light.
"This trend of theft is pretty much unlike anything that we've seen before," Chris Pitt of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which insures churches, told the Reuters news service. So far, in 2007 the group has handled 1,800 claims totaling nearly 6 million pounds (about 12 million U.S. dollars) from churches
SmartWater, which allows property to be forensically coded, is now being sent to all churches, allowing stolen metal to be traced back to the buildings from which it was taken.
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Photograph by David Jones/PA Wire/AP