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In some cases, footwear prints and tire marks might be your only evidence.Obviously, before you can do any casting, you need to find the evidence. When you arrive at a crime scene, stop and observe before you jump in. Think about how the suspect might have moved through the scene. Outdoors, look for points of entry and exit. Check the dirt near windows and doors for prints. Determine routes a suspect might have walked between the crime scene and a vehicle, then check for evidence. Don’t neglect to check for evidence indoors. The suspect may have walked in with dirt on their footwear, or the floor may be dusty or wet. Again, pay careful attention to entry and exit points. Look for other obvious places where a suspect would have walked. If you’re dealing with a garage, check for tire tracks on concrete. Stop, take a flashlight, and look for prints.

In some cases, footwear prints and tire marks might be your only evidence. If you rush into a scene, you might miss this evidence, or even worse, accidentally ruin it. Make a point of training other officers and first responders in techniques for locating footprint and tire track evidence. There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at a scene and identifying dust footprints, only to discover that they’re ruined because someone walked on them.

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From: Casting: Essentials by Dick Warrington

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