NewsSafe KC


Take a look inside an FBI mobile computer forensics lab

Posted at 7:04 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 12:28:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The FBI is utilizing technology that can travel right to the scene of the crime.

41 Action News got a rare look inside a mobile unit at the agency's Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. It's a lab on four wheels with five computers inside.

"We can hook up people's phones, we can get into computers," Heart of America RCFL Deputy Director Jason Steinke said.

The mobile unit is deployed all over Kansas and Missouri and is especially useful in cases where a company has been hacked.

"We can bring this van out there, get a digital copy of everything that they have, bring it back to the lab and examine it further without the victim company being disturbed in any way," Heart of America RCFL Director Sarah Lucas said.

At the main facility, Lucas said the top crimes they're working on are homicides, then violent crimes, gang violence and crimes against children and exploitation. Analysts work with local law enforcement agencies to solve crimes.

"We have detectives who have worked basically every type of violation in their previous life as detectives, and now they can bring that knowledge base to the exams we do here," Lucas said.

The lab can pull data off anything from phones to cars to even Ring doorbells. It's a good reminder of just how much information we carry around.

"We want them to keep their data safe and protect themselves, but then we're also here for law enforcement to get that evidentiary material to help solve crime," Lucas said.

The Heart of America RCFL offers training to law enforcement agencies on topics such as seizing and handling digital evidence and basic internet investigations.

Do you have a Safe KC story idea? Tell us about it!