Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders, Second Edition

April 14, 2008

Chapter 5. Evidence Collection

Section 3 — Other Electronic and Peripheral Devices of Potential Evidential Value

Electronic devices such as those listed below may contain information of evidentiary value to an investigation. Except in emergency situations, such devices should not be operated and the information they might contain should not be accessed directly. If a situation warrants accessing these devices and the information they contain immediately, all actions taken should be thoroughly documented. Data may be lost if a device is not properly handled or its data properly accessed.

The following are examples of electronic devices, components, and peripherals that first responders may need to collect as digital evidence:

  • Audio recorders.
  • GPS accessories.
  • Answering machines.
  • Computer chips.
  • Pagers.
  • Cordless landline telephones.
  • Copy machines.
  • Cellular telephones.
  • Hard drive duplicators.
  • Facsimile (fax) machines.
  • Printers.
  • Multifunction machines (printer, scanner, copier, and fax).
  • Wireless access points.
  • Laptop power supplies and accessories.
  • Smart cards.
  • Videocassette recorders (VCRs).
  • Scanners.
  • Telephone caller ID units.
  • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) cards.
  • PDAs.


Special handling may be required to preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of these electronic devices. First responders should secure the devices and request assistance from personnel who have advanced training in collecting digital evidence. ​

NOTE:When collecting electronic devices, components, and peripherals such as those listed above, remember to collect the power supplies, cables, and adapters for those devices as well.

Date Created: April 9, 2008