Dye pack

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Deployed dye pack

A dye pack is a radio-controlled incendiary device used by some banks to foil a bank robbery by causing stolen cash to be permanently marked with dye shortly after a robbery.

In most cases, a dye pack is placed in a hollowed-out space within a stack of banknotes, usually $10 or $20 bills. This stack of bills looks and feels similar to a real one, with technology allowing for the manufacturing of flexible dye packs which are difficult to detect by handling the stack.[1]

When the marked stack of bills is not used, it is stored next to a magnetic plate near a bank cashier, in standby or safe mode, ready to be handed over to a potential robber by a bank employee. When it is removed from the magnetic plate, the pack is armed, and once it leaves the building and passes through the door frame, a radio transmitter located at the door triggers a timer (typically at least 10 seconds), after which the dye pack explosively releases [2] an aerosol (usually of Disperse Red 9) and sometimes tear gas, intended to destroy the stolen money and mark the robber's body with a bright stain. The chemical reaction causing the explosion of the pack and the release of the dye creates high temperatures of about 200 °C (392 °F) which further discourages a criminal from touching the pack or removing it from the bag or getaway vehicle.[1] Dye packs are used in over 75% of banks in America.[1]


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