By Tony Lopez

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — CBS13 got an inside and up-close look at the latest technology in the Roseville Police Department’s crime scene investigation lab.

CSI Rich Phillips showed us first-hand what it takes to track down a suspect, whether it’s dusting for prints to find a pattern exposed by oils and secretions on ones skin, or using an alternate light source.

“It’s amazing what we found fingerprints on,” he said.

All of this is about one thing: catching the bad guy and putting him in jail.

The puzzles of the cases have gotten easier to solve, thanks to equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The CSI unit makes up about 3 percent of the department’s budget, not including big ticket items like a state-of-the-art high-powered microscope that gives investigators an idea where to start looking for evidence.

The $20,000 mobile microscope is taken to crime scenes to help the search.

Then there’s the less sophisticated CSI tools: super glue, a plastic cup and a cotton stick.

“It reacts with the cotton and superglue and what will happen there is it will actually start heating and causing it to fume and then those fumes will adhere to the friction ridges or the fingerprints,” he said.

A product originally made so hunters can track their target at night once it’s been hit works wonders in crime scenes, even after a suspect tries to scrub away the evidence.

The blood evidence discovered by this method helped add up to a homicide case solved.

What looks like a diagram and numbers on a sheet of paper actually shows the trajectory of a bullet using the latest in 3-D technology and something that’s been around for centuries.

“All I would need to do is some simple trigonometry to not only determine the angles of not only the upward trajectory but also the lateral trajectory if you will,” he said.

If you’re a victim of property crime, the CSI team has a simple piece of advice—limit your contact with the scene so police can better pinpoint the suspect’s fingerprints.


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