Training exercise in body recovery #forensics #csi #training
Last year I attended a burglary scene where point of entry was gained around the rear of the property. The owner had left her keys in the kitchen door, which were in easy reach by someone poking an arm through a cat flap. Strangely once the offender had opened the door, they locked it behind them. Nothing inside the bungalow had been disturbed, and the only thing stolen was cash from a living room coffee table. Point of exit must have been the front door which could be pulled shut and secured with the latch style lock.
The only signs of forced entry were to pieces of parcel tape across the cat flap, which had been broken. Otherwise there’d be no signs of where the offender had entered and I’d be scratching my head.
I examined both sides of the door for fingerprints using ‘Magneta Flake’ powder, made up of small iron filings. I developed marks on the inside of the door, between the cat flap and the door handle. These marks were in a prime location to be the offenders.
I took the owner’s fingerprints so a comparison could initially be done with her prints. She told me that she had suspicions about a young family member. The fact that the property was locked up by the offender afterwards showed that they had a slight conscience, and were possibly attached to the victim in some way. Although this couldn’t be proven at the time.
A few days later the fingerprints all came back negative. The reasoning was none of the marks were suitable for comparison. The Fingerprint Expert felt that there wasn’t enough detail in the fingerprints for an identification to be made, however I felt that at least one of the marks were suitable. I was on the phone to the Expert and asked them to review the case, which they kindly did.
I later received a Fingerprint Identification, which came up as the nephew of the owner. The nephew was arrested and interviewed. I was soon asked to complete a statement for presentation at Court, and once the trail began I was called into Court.
I gave evidence as to how I developed the fingerprints and where I found them. I presented my photographs and showed where the identifying mark was located (middle arrow in picture). The nephew was found guilty by the Magistrates.
Sadly, the hunch that the owner had about a family member appeared to be correct. The location of the fingerprints played a part in the conviction, and hopefully the offender has learnt from the experience.
This will be a short, but humerous story about a man who probably wished he hadn’t reported a crime. Even though it was a laughable and illegal situation, I still couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. The details will be a little vague as this happened a few years ago.
The man reported a burglary to his flat where money had been stolen. The offender had forced the door open and stolen £3000 cash from his bedroom whilst he was away. The money was tucked away in an envelope and fairly well hidden, but a delighted offender still managed to find it.
I rocked up in my van, and set to work looking for evidence on the front door and items disturbed in the bedroom. As I carried out my examination I couldn’t help but ask the gentleman why he had so much cash in his flat, to which he replied ‘I can’t bank it otherwise I won’t get my benefits.’
Luckily for me the call handler had already reported him for benefit fraud and I wasn’t left with the task. Amusingly he had admitted this to the call handler too and they took swift action.
My words of advice are to bank your cash, otherwise the money you might be making from such fraud could cost you more.
A nice little note from a member of the public. They’ve returned an elimination fingerprint form to assist with an investigation. #forensics #fingerprints #police #csi #dexter