Often, it is the small details after a burglary or a fire that help solve a case. Our involvement and contribution is described within the respective sub-sections.

Burglary

The examination of property / premises after an assumed burglary comprises a comprehensive description of the premises and all its access points, in particular a detailed description of doors and windows, basement windows, light wells, skylights and other roof windows as well as any other openings and potential access points anywhere on the premises, and all security systems thereof.
If required, a plan of the premises is produced, showing and numbering each door, window etc.

During the site inspection, an expert examination of each individual lock and other locking devices will concentrate specifically on the difference between existing manufacturing marks and signs of repair, usage, wear and tear, and such marks which could be signs of criminal activity.  The subsequent evaluation will differentiate between real evidence of crime, and evidence that was planted to simulate an incident and subvert the investigation.

Our superbly equipped response vehicle almost always offers the possibility of replacing security devices such as locks, locking cylinders, strike plates etc. that were removed for further laboratory examination, so that the security of the premises can be restored without the need for costly outside assistance.

The evaluation of each individual piece of evidence as part of the overall pattern of evidence forms the basis for the preparation of the expert forensic report. In particular, this includes a plausibility check.

Additional examinations and analysis can be provided for the investigating authority, to enable identification of burglary tools.

Pictures

Lever marks on casement

Lever marks on window-frame

Marks on window

Marks on door

Marks on doorframe

Marks on door

Fire

The examination at the scene of a fire resembles that at the scene of a burglary, but with the overall aim of assessing whether the security installations were breached before arson was committed. This necessitates a prior investigation to establish that the (presumed) cause of the fire is indeed arson or at least that arson cannot be ruled out, and that the arsonist would have had to physically enter the premises.

The examination includes the inspection of all access points (doors, windows etc.), security devices (locks, locking cylinders etc.) and broken panes of glass. On-site investigation into the causes of fire and explosion are carried out in co-operation with our affiliated specialists.

Records are kept during investigations following a burglary as well as a fire, detailing all relevant findings and all essential measurements and test results. An expert report is then compiled based on the data and values contained in the inspection records and making use of forensic science know-how and our in-depth knowledge of tool traces.

Much of this knowledge originates from experiments and their subsequent analysis undertaken in co-operation with fire investigation experts from the Criminal Investigation Department of Hesse, the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, and with the support of the German Insurance Association as well as other expert fire investigators. In-house experiments and tests support and complement the results.

Pictures

Fire-damaged premises

Fire-damaged door

Burnt-out window

Pattern of glass on windowsill

Marks on bolt

Hinge element locking position