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CRIME LAB INFORMATION GUIDE

A Crime Lab analyst may respond to collect evidence after a property crime occurs. Important information relating to evidence protection and collection is provided.

DUTIES OF A POLICE OFFICER

Initially, a police officer will respond to document the relevant information, which may include:

  • Your personal information (name, address, contact information, etc.)
  • Possible time frame for when the crime occurred
  • Details of how the suspect may have entered your home, business, or automobile (known as the point of entry or POE)

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The officer will request a department record (DR) number for your case.

Depending on the circumstances, the officer may request your case be placed on the list for the Crime Lab to respond. The Crime Lab will call you to schedule an appointment.

Note: Please provide the officer with a phone number where the Lab may reach you during the day so you may maintain your normal routine (work, school, etc).

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THE CRIME LAB TO ARRIVE?

Appointments for service are scheduled between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. OR between 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

If you do not answer the phone when the Crime Lab calls to schedule your appointment, a message and phone number will be left to reschedule.

Notes:

  • The call may come from a blocked number.
  • The Crime Lab analyst also responds to the scenes of violent crimes and he/she may be re-directed and delayed in arriving at your location

WHAT WILL THE CRIME LAB ANALYST LOOK FOR?

1. Items left behind by the suspect

Upon cleaning up, if you discover items left behind by the suspect, contact the Crime Lab at (562) 570-7683. They will advise you the best way to handle and store those items until the Crime Lab analyst arrives.

2. Blood evidence and DNA

Occasionally, when suspects enter your home, business, or automobile through a broken window, they cut themselves on the broken glass. If you discover blood or what appears to be blood, please try to preserve it as best you can. Call the Crime Lab and inform them of the possible blood evidence at your scene.

3. Fingerprints

The most common item of evidence collected at property crime scenes is fingerprints. The following is a list of items you should NOT touch:

  • Hard and smooth items that you believe were handled by the suspect
  • Window screens
  • Windows that may have been entered or exited through

Note: If it is raining, we ask that you carefully move any removed window screens to an area where they will be sheltered from the rain. Handle the screen/net portion of the window screen, NOT the smooth edges.

CAN I CLEAN ANYTHING UP WHILE WAITING FOR THE CRIME LAB?

Yes. However, there are certain items that you should not touch. Please do NOT touch any item where visible blood is present. Contact the Crime Lab for further instructions. Items that you CAN touch/clean up (excluding those left by suspect) include: 

  • Clothing¬†
  • Soft or textured items
  • Paper
  • Wooden dresser drawers

WHAT IF I HAVE TO MOVE AN ITEM?

There may be times when you have to move an item that potentially contains fingerprint or DNA evidence. For instance, you may need to close the window the suspect entered through or make a path through a high traffic area. Please cover your hands (with gloves or socks) when moving the items and hold the item in an area NOT commonly handled.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

A Simplified Guide to Forensic Science