PHOENIX — An Ahwatukee couple is thankful to be OK but is feeling violated after checking their security cameras in the morning and discovering burglars entered their garage.
Making matters worse, one of the suspects was armed.
It's not how newlyweds Kelsey and Geof Ellis expected their first week of marriage to go.
“That’s my favorite," said Geof Ellis, as he and Kelsey looked back on photos from their Halloween wedding. “They did the smoke bomb for the Halloween.”
Their celebration abruptly came to an end just days after saying, "I do."
“It’s like an invasion of privacy," said Kelsey Ellis.
After taking out the trash, the couple mistakenly left their garage door open. The next morning, they realized their accident and decided to check their security cameras just in case.
They were shocked by what they saw. A man and a woman were seen walking right in. The man was armed with a gun.
“Terrified. I don’t think we slept for like a week," Kelsey said.
The burglars took off with tools, sunglasses and cash, items police say typically do not get returned.
“We don’t have serial numbers on things. They’re just generic items," Kelsey said.
It's stories like this one that inspired Shawn Andreas to start his company, ProtechDNA.
“It really simplifies the process for people to secure their valuables and give law enforcement there sources that they need when somebody is a victim," Andreas said.
ProtechDNA is essentially DNA for your property.
Residents can order a packet of the product and apply the liquid on valuable items from tools and electronics to jewelry.
What the naked eye cannot see are microscopic dots inside the substance. Each dot contains a unique identification number which is how law enforcement agencies can match the property to you.
If any of the items are recovered by a participating law enforcement agency, all the officers would need to do is run a black light over the recovered items, seeing that there is ProtechDNA on it. Then, they can take a closer look to read the identification number.
Andreas says he is working on expanding his program into Arizona.
“Arizona is now on our target board," Andreas said.
As Andreas works on expanding the technology to the Valley, couples like the Ellis' are hoping others can use their scary story as a lesson to double check your garage door, just thankful they are physically OK.
“I think just hug your loved ones," Kelsey said.
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