LCPD working with a full evidence room - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LCPD working with a full evidence room

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Lake Charles Police Department takes in many weapons after arrests are made, but it's not just weapons in the evidence room. 

The evidence room stores stolen items, like bikes and computers, as well as narcotics.

"It's something you have to be very strict about," said LCPD Chief Don Dixon.

Dixon said anything goes when it comes to a weapon, or evidence, and the room where the items are kept is filling up.

"We're running out of room literally in our evidence room," Dixon said. "We take in a lot of weapons. I think last year in 2012 we took in 145 weapons."

Dixon said once the weapons are stored in the evidence room, the LCPD keeps them until the case is disposed of. After that, firearms and other weapons are destroyed, and the narcotics are burned.

Sgt. David Streva at the LCPD handles all crime scene and property evidence. He said it's a lot of work keeping up with the evidence room.

"At last count, total items, we were probably knocking on the door about 100,000 pieces of evidence," Streva said. And keeping up with the evidence room comes with a special way of storing the evidence.

"All of these have different bin locations," Streva said pointing to the weapons. "So, if I need to retrieve that item, to find it, I can go into the computer, find out what bin location it's in, come to that bin location and I'll be able to retrieve that item."

Each item has a file number, case number and a description of the evidence. And if the item is stolen, the only way the rightful owner can retrieve his or her property is if they have proof.

"I highly recommend anything you own that's got a serial number, report it. Keep it separate. Valuables, take photographs of it. I can't emphasize that enough," Dixon said.

A lot of times stolen items, ranging from weapons to bikes to computers and TVs, are recovered in local pawn shops, according to Dixon.

He said about 90 percent of crime in the Lake Charles area is a direct result of drug use for people needing money.

Dixon said many of the stolen bikes that end up in the evidence room at the LCPD are donated to local charities.

Check out the attached video from 7News Nightcast for an inside look at the LCPD evidence room. 

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