I often transport tools in the trunk of my car. Last night someone
broke into my car and ripped out the back seat to get into the trunk.
I went to the police and they said that they would NOT fingerprint.
This means that they will do absolutely nothing. I have flat chrome
handles that likely would have fingerprints. There is metal behind the
back seat cushion that the thief likely braced against. What are my
options here? When I went down to make a report (because they would
not come to me) I didn't have proof of insurance with me (I wasn't told
to bring it) and they wouldn't even make out a report without it. I am
Thank you for your time and energy,
If it helps any, I've had houses violated, with clear prints, where the
cops wouldn't take them.
In fact, I was the prime suspect for about 10 minutes in officer
mcgreedys crime search.
I understand your outrage.
But you can't change it.
Tally up your losses, get the insurance payoff, and be more prepared
Forget the cops. They have more important things like seat belts and
slow rolling stops to focus on.
Your rage will fade, your distrust will grow.
Such is life.
If I somehow took the fingerprints myself (graphite and scotch tape?)
is there any way to match those prints up with a human being? Would
the police run them for me if I paid them?
PS: What are the laws on citizen's arrest?
Where do I go to learn how to properly lift prints? I do not believe
lifting a most prints is beyond my ability with simple training.
How do I get someone else to match them? Perhaps I should keep prints
from all of my tenants on file. I could at least rule out that it was
one them as I feel they are the most likely suspects. Is there simple
matching software online? It must be quite commonplace now with all
the fingerprint (thumb) access devices.
Oh, I'd think it is most likely <something> simple in the BioAPI stuff,
but it won't be of use for this purpose...the problem is there's no
generally-accessible database and OP doesn't have a suspect database,
I can always start today requiring it for any new leases signed.
Within a year I would have a complete database. Would it be a
violation of privacy to acquire it during home inspection? If I change
the locks and take the old doorknob home with me is it against the law
to fingerprint it once I arrive at my house?
I don't know that you <can> require it, nor do I know that you can't
ask, but I would suspect the likelihood of getting willing tenants will
go down exponentially--I know I certainly would not do so just on
Other subtrefuges may or may not be legal but would probably not yield
admissible evidence as you would probably have chain of custody issues
even if you could manage to execute the process.
My question is why do you think it's likely a tenant is the culprit
anyway? If so, would seem like you're not screening tenants very
carefully to begin with. Of course, if you're renting in a low-rent
district, that could very well just be an occupational hazard.
Many financial institutions ask for a thumb print on checks cashed. If
they can ask I don't see why I cannot ask. I don't know if tenants
will be unwilling to voluntarily give it when signing a lease but I'll
give it a try and get back to you. I would provide it if someone asked
me. I don't think it is out of line with providing a SSN which (most)
everyone provides willingly.
Sue also brought up the chain of custody issue. If there are, for
instance, multiple prints on the car apparent after dusting I only have
to lift one of them. If someone wants to dispute the chain of custody
an officer can come back and lift another print. I do not know if it
is possible to lift the same print twice but it doesn't seem
I think it was someone who knew I transport tools in the trunk.
Tenants are a large part of that crowd who would be interested in
You surely have the right to refuse the thumbprint.
What do you think the next sentence out of the teller's mouth will be?
An old joke goes something like this:
A constitutional legalist goes to cash his check.
Teller asks for fingerprint.
Man refuses and cites several Constitutional passes.
Teller calls manager.
Manager comes over and asks problem. Teller relates story.
Manager leans over and whispers, "Listen, you dumb cracker. Put your
fingerprint on that check or I will rip your arm off and beat you with it."
Manager walks off.
Man hurriedly puts thumbprint on check.
Teller asks why he wouldn't do that for her.
He says, "You didn't explain it that clearly."
On 13 Aug 2005 06:35:20 -0700, " email@example.com"
Don't bother. There is something called "chain of custody" for
evidence that they don't emphasize on the crime shows. Evidence
collected by you will be so dubious that it wouldn't hold up in court.
It has nothing to do with your skills or personal integrity, so don't
be offended :)
You won't get access to databases, if that's what you're thinking
No. Even law enforcement aren't allowed to run fingerprints for their
own curiousity or for citizens.
Your best bet is to install a security camera, particularly if you
think it was one of your tenants.
I know how frustrating it can be to deal with the police re:
break-ins. Sometimes they are very good; other times they obviously
resent being taken away from something more important like a donut
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
Teach yourself. It's dirt simple. You need:
1. Very fine black powder. Copier toner works swell.
2. A small brush with long, fine bristles.
3. 2" wide, clear, packing tape.
4. 3x5" cards.
Put the toner on the suspect area. Brush (or blow) away the excess. Press
the tape on the print, lift and put the tape containing the print on the
For chain of custody, write some facts on the card (date, your initials,
location) before adding the tape and print.
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