Did you know that the EPPD has our own crime scene investigators? The Crime Tech Unit was started in 2005 and consists of nine officers and investigators who are specially trained to process evidence from crime scenes. Processing evidence includes identifying, collecting and preserving digital, physical and biological evidence. In 2017 they investigated 51 crime scenes; to date in 2018 they have investigated 44 crime scenes.
Many of the scenes that the Crime Techs are called to involve the theft of a vehicle or the theft of items from a vehicle. For example, in August 2017, a man was the victim of an attempted car hijacking in an Eden Prairie gas station parking lot. During the attempt, the suspect pointed a gun at the victim through the driver’s side window, which was open. The driver managed to roll up the window and the suspect then banged on the window with his fist and the gun.
The driver escaped in his car and the suspect vehicle left the parking lot as well. An officer, who is also certified as a crime technician, was on-duty that night and responded to the scene. She took photographs of the fingerprints, collected swabbings from smudges on the window, dusted the prints and collected them.
Back at the office, the fingerprints were submitted to the Hennepin County Crime Lab. In November, the EPPD received notification that the prints matched a suspect already in the system due to past criminal activity. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.