More Criminals Using Acid, Surgery and Burning to Alter Fingerprints
An increasing number of criminals are mutilating their fingerprints in an effort to avoid detection, despite the pain caused by acid or burning metal used to create scarring.
Massachusetts police say the number of people trying to alter their fingerprints has increased sevenfold in the last decade, the Boston Globe reports. The commanding officer of the Massachusetts State Police division that oversees fingerprint analysis of crime scenes, Kenneth Martin, told the newspaper that fingerprint mutilation is “definitely an increasing phenomenon.’’
The Globe also checked in with Steven Fischer, a spokesman for the FBI’s division of Criminal Justice Information Services, who said the agency doesn’t keep statistics on altered fingertips. “But I have heard fingerprint examiners mention a slight increase of people trying to mutilate their fingerprints, enough for them to take notice,” Fischer said.
Some criminals are hiring doctors to surgically alter their fingertips, the story says. Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts claim they have uncovered one scheme to alter the fingertips of illegal immigrants. Three people were charged in the case last week, including a doctor accused of flying in from the Dominican Republic to alter fingertips for a $4,500 fee.
Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.