A burglary is defined by the Uniform Crime Report as “The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft, even though no force was used to gain entry.”(Swanson et al. 2012).
Burglaries are classified according to residential and commercial offenses. Commonly, the perpetrator will bring instruments or tools to assist in the perpetration of the offense. Because of this, there are certain search tactics the criminal investigator should consider when covering the specific offense of a burglary. One should search for any evidence indicating forced entry such as shoe marks, fingerprint, tool marks, tire prints, tools, broken glass, safe insulation, paint chips and other personal possessions.
Aside from these obvious signs to consider, evidence collection often takes place at many levels, from those visible to the eye down to DNA bearing evidence. (Swanson et al. 2012) At the crime scene, all large items and those smaller items visible by eye search and with the use of different reagents can be collected into crime scene bags. Trace evidence should be swept and packaged into vacuum seal able packages. Any sign of biological evidence must be packaged in airtight containers or else oxidation will force the evidence to mold over and contaminate the evidence in a very short time. For any wet or damp items including ones that contain blood, investigations should place then in brown paper bags according to size. Other options may include earth guard bags and or butcher paper when taped shut properly.
After the items have been packaged, they are to be properly labeled. This includes the a) investigating agency case number, b) scene site, c) brief description of evidence, d) location where evidence was obtained, e) the collector's name and or number from badge plus initials and the date and time of collection.(Swanson et al. 2012).
Swanson, Charles. (2011). Criminal Investigation. McGraw-Hill College.