Numbered Response for Questions on Burglary
- What are the steps to investigating a burglary?
Clemens (2013) argues that burglaries are the most common crimes that the patrol officers respond to in America. The police officers opens an investigation that helps them solve the case. For a successful investigation, several steps must be followed. First, officers should approach the crime scene with caution. This is because the perpetrators may still be in the crime scene. They should also always be alert for suspicious individuals. Secondly, Clemens (2013) states that the crime scene should be secured as this makes it easier for police officers to collect evidence. However, sometimes the victim may have already started clearing the mess making it a bit challenging for the officers to obtain evidence. Thirdly, an interview with the victim should be conducted. It is important to have the victim walk the officer through the scene because they might identify the items that may have been disturbed. Finally, an officer should identify and collect evidence, which is usually found at the point with the most activity or the point of entry.
- What types of evidence are usually associated with this crime?
As stated above, collecting evidence is a vital part of responding to burglaries. However, an officer needs to identify types of evidence that may be present at the crime scene. This is because every piece of evidence is an important tool that may be used to solve the crime committed. First is the fingerprint. Clemens (2013) contends that fingerprints are not only the best forms of evidence at crime scenes, but burglaries also offer very many opportunities for identifying them. Current technologies also offer many different methods of identifying fingerprints that can be used to cultivate suspects in otherwise cold cases. Footwear impressions also give solid leads that may help the officers identify suspects involved in the crime. They may be generated from powdering; impressions found on glass or doors, or on floors which is often documented through photographs or casting. Tools or tool marks is evidence that is collected identifying the type of tools used to gain entry.
A suspect may also be injured when attempting to gain entry, therefore, leaving blood as evidence. Fibers are also part of the evidence that may be sometimes hard to identify, but can be used to tie down a suspect to a particular crime. Suspects are also part of evidence collection as officers may identify a suspicious individual that may match to certain types of evidence collected. This may include fiber collected, shoe tread, or even possible injury. Finally, bonus evidence is a crucial part of evidence collection. These are mainly things found at a crime scene that provide extra detail regarding the nature or even identity of the suspect (Clemens 2013).
- Describe how you would properly collect, package, and label your burglary evidence.
Collecting, packaging, and labelling evidence collected from a burglary crime scene are equally as important as identifying it. Tools used to gain entry in burglary cases may contain traces of paint as well as other materials that may have transferred in the scene. Clemens (2013) states that these tools should be wrapped at the end where the evidence were present with a plastic wrap and sealed with tape to prevent loss of this valuable evidence. Blood in a pool, on the other hand, should be collected in a gauze pad or sterile cotton and permitted to dry. They then should be refrigerated immediately to avoid rendering the sample useless. If there is the presence of dried bloodstain on an article, the article should be stored in a brown paper bag. Saliva collected should be stored in paper and not plastic wraps.
Hair collected should be stored in paper bindles or coin bags and sealed in a larger envelope. Fibers identified at the crime scene should be collected using fingers and treated similarly to hair. Firearms may also be collected as evidence and should be sealed with clean paper and stored in strong wooden or cardboard boxes, therefore, preventing shifting of guns in transit (Clemens 2013). When collecting gun evidence, the officers should use gloves but never collect it by placing objects at the end of the barrel.
All evidence collected at any crime scene should be tagged, marked, or labeled. Information that is typically expected in a label is the description of the item, case number, date, location of collection, name of collector, brand of the article, as well as the serial number if present on the item collected (Clemens 2013).
- Find the burglary statute for your home state and summarize.
The current Ohio state burglary statute was made effective in 1996. In summary, it states that no person should trespass an occupied structure when another person other than an accomplice of the offender is present with a purpose to commit in or any other part of the structure any criminal offense (Law Writer 2014). If the offender inflicts or attempts to inflict harm to another person or the offender has a dangerous weapon or another person who is under the offender’s control, Law Writer (2014) states that he has violated the aggravated burglary in the first degree.
Law Writer. (2014). 2911. 11. Aggravated burglary: Ohio Laws and Rules. Retrieved from: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2911.11
Clemens, D. W. (2013). Burglary investigations: Crime and Clues. Retrieved from: http://crimeandclues.com/2013/01/26/burglary-investigations/