FEBRUARY 2016 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter
Ask Joe...

Each month, IAPE's primary instructor, Joe Latta, answers one of your questions. Consider writing us if you have a question that needs an answer. We would love to hear from you.
To submit a question for Joe  Contact Us 

Dear Joe,

I have a question I was hoping you could help me out with. We are currently storing all of the DNA swab kits that come back from the local Crime Lab. Apparently, most of the ones that are returned have the swab portion broken off and consumed in the lab process and we are only receiving back the stick and cover with nothing of evidentiary value. What is the common practice in that regard? Are most agencies disposing of the leftovers?

Thank you,
S. Keepit

Dear  S. Keepit,
I reached out to a number of folks and also brought up the topic in our recent IAPE class in Las Vegas. The consensus was to retain them.
After responding back to Officer S. Keepit, he advised me that he had recently spoken to the property room manager of a very large department here in Southern California who indicated they were disposing of them.  My advice is to contact your local Prosecutors Office and seek their advice.

Headline of the Month
Former tech under investigation for $100K in missing cash from Riviera Beach Police

Date: February 24, 2016

RIVIERA BEACH (CBS12) - A former evidence technician is under investigation for the disappearance of more than $100,000 in cash from the evidence room at the Riviera Beach Police Department.

The investigation began in August 2015 during an audit of the department's evidence room. The auditor, William Brown, discovered several evidence bags unaccounted for. According to the probable cause affidavit from the State Attorney's Office, Claudia V. Hutchinson told a co-worker she accidentally took one of the evidence bags home with her and would return it. The bag contained $642 in cash.

Police said the bag appeared to be tampered with and opened in a suspicious manner. The department put Hutchinson on administrative leave. She resigned days later.

Authorities recovered 119 evidence bags from Hutchinson's home in West Palm Beach during an initial  A second search of the home the next day netted an additional 70 evidence bags. Police said the bags have been verified to be from active cases and removed from the evidence room. All but one evidence bag were empty.

Investigators said the amount of money in all the evidence bags would've totaled more than $101,000. Hutchinson is facing 189 counts of tampering with evidence and grand theft.

Anyone attending our classes may recall that we try and encourage police and sheriffs department to deposit all of their money into the bank as quickly as possible as it rarely goes to Court.  Last month we highlighted another story where nearly $400,000 was stolen.

The question must be asked if money was deposited almost immediately would the theft have occurred? See Evidence Log Volume 2015-3  for more information on the handling of money.  

Additionally, the   IAPE Professional Standards  10.7 Money - Disposition Transfer to Finance,
state  "Money should be deposited with the agency's finance department or a financial institution as quickly as possible after the assigned investigator signs an authorization for transfer. The goal should be to remove money from the property room as soon as practical to reduce the potential for theft or being misplaced". 


Firearm Storage

Headline of the Month
Got Stuff You Don't Want
A prosthetic leg, life-sized Spiderman doll and a few thousand umbrellas: Inside Transport for London's Aladdin's Cave of lost property - where 300,000 misplaced items ended up last year
Date: January 31, 2016

A prosthetic leg, life-sized Spiderman doll and a few thousand umbrellas: Inside Transport for London's Aladdin's Cave of lost property - where 300,000 misplaced items ended up last year
  • Transport For London had 302,714 items left on trains and buses last year, and only 22 per cent were ever returned
  • 150 mobile phones among 1,200 items left on network every day, as well as trumpets, clarinets and even drum kits
  • Brown envelope containing £15,000 was returned, and an urn of ashes - which had sat in the office for seven years 
  • Items go to three-story office next to Baker Street for three months and are then donated to charity or auctioned 
The incredible photos reveal the bizarre Aladdin's cave of strange items left on London's transport network.
From a prosthetic leg to a life-sized Spiderman figure, it is impossible to imagine how many of the more niche items could ever have been forgotten.   More than 300,000 items were left on the capital's trains and buses last year as Transport for London received a record haul of missing goods.

Got a Job?  Need a Job?
IAPE is delighted to announce that we have a new section for posting a job announcement or checking job  opportunities.

Be On The Look Out!
The next digital issue of 
 has arrived.  All paid IAPE members receive an Evidence Log quarterly.  Click on the image below to view the most recent issue.
2016 Membership dues
have arrived via email.
If you have any questions please

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Property Room
Property and Evidence By The Book 2