Volume 49, Issue 3 (May 2004)
The Use of an Electrostatic Detection Device to Identify Individual and Class Characteristics on Documents Produced by Printers and Copiers—A Preliminary Study
The market is inundated with inkjet printers, laser printers, and photocopiers, which are often used in criminal activities. Many of these office machines are built by various manufacturers, hence they are constructed with different hardware designs (e.g. “rolling” and “grabbing” mechanisms) that have changed over the years due to technological advances. Examinations of printed documents that involve the chemical analysis of ink colorants and the identification of physical machine defects such as trash marks are essential for the forensic examiner, but new techniques are needed to more closely identify a machine model or group of models. An electrostatic detection device (EDD) provides forensic examiners with a nondestructive method to examine indentations on a document. In this work, an EDD is used to detect latent physical markings left on documents by printers and photocopiers. Seventeen inkjet printers, 12 laser printers, and 3 photocopy machines were used to produce test documents. Physical markings were detectable in the large majority of the documents and were reproducible 100% of the time.