CrimeWatch: Digital Element of Crimes

CrimeWatch: Digital Element of Crimes

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Every crime has a digital element. That's where the Austin Police Department's Digital Analysis Response Team, or DART, comes in.

Detective Roy Rector is a certified forensic examiner with DART. "I purposely don't know a lot about the case."

The 20-year veteran says that's because when you're trying to get information off a computer, it's not hard to get off track.

"It's easy to get caught up in the full investigation that might make you misinterpret a date and time stamp when you get a lot of the digital information that sometimes is ambiguous."

Crime scenes for Rector are any kind of media. "My job is to take a computer or cell phone and take the electronic evidence and present it to them in a format that's usable and also acceptable in court."

"The bad guys are getting the newest and greatest devices. If we're not trained how to examine those or reverse engineer those in any way, then 18 months down the road, we're seizing equipment we can't even analyze."

All this to keep up with the increasing demand for help with investigations involving computers, smart phones, and social networking sites. That's why DART was formed.

APD forensic examiners also inspect other law enforcement agencies' digital evidence, helping them to solve crimes one computer at a time.

Follow Jenni on Twitter@jennileefox7.

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