View a short video demonstrating
stun gun electrostatic lifter. See the video.
*You will need Windows Media Player to
Footwear track identification is a widely
accepted form of identifying or connecting a suspect to a
criminal act. The responsibility lies with law enforcement
personnel to detect, collect, analyze, and present this evidence
in a court of law.
Footwear tracks, when visible, should be recorded
by photographic methods. Whenever possible, recover the item
containing the footwear track by using lifting tapes, various
types of lifters, or casting material. Even if proper photographic
techniques are applied, there is no guarantee that the resulting
images would be of value for comparison and/or identification.
Devices commonly referred to as "Electrostatic Dust Lifting
Devices" are marketed for detecting and recovering dust
or nonvisible wear tracks as well as latent prints in dust.
The list price of these devices can range from about $500.00
to $900.00. However, there is a device that can be easily
and readily adapted that performs equally well, is less expensive,
lightweight, and is widely available. This item is commonly
known as the stun gun.
The equipment needed to do this application is as follows:
· Stun gun
· Sun blocking window
film without adhesive sold under the brand name Gila River
· Probe with 2' lead and
alligator clip on the end.
To begin, as with any method, be sure to PHOTOGRAPH FIRST
then attempt your lift. Place film with metallic side up over
the dust print. Attach the alligator clip with the probe attached
to one of the outer contacts of the stun gun.
NOTE: The inner contacts are not used.
Place the opposite contact approximately ¼"
from the edge of the solar film. With the probe in the other
hand, place it approximately ¼" from the opposite
edge of the solar film. When you press the switch you will
observe an electrical charge arcing between the probe, the
contact and the film. This is creating static electricity.
While it is arcing, move the probe around the outer edge of
the solar film. You will see that the solar film will appear
to vibrate then suck down on the item. This should take approximately
15 to 30 seconds.
Making sure you do not move the lift film once it is down
on the print, press out all air bubbles, streaks, etc. using
an inexpensive foam brush. Once completed, carefully pull
off the solar film. Use a strong flashlight for side lighting
to observe the dust print.
The dust print can now be photographed quite easily by using
side lighting. This is a fragile print so handle it as such.
The lift film with the print will need to be protected by
placing it in a shallow box such as a pizza box, a thin computer
label box or by purchasing a box. The solar film can be wiped
off with a dry clean cloth and reused if no useable print
Depending on the brand, the price of the stun gun is $59.00
to $120.00 and can be purchased through a law enforcement
The probe, which comes with a 24" lead and will plug
into the alligator clip, can be purchased at an electronics
store for approximately $3.95.
The lifting film can be purchased
through the Lynn Peavey