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NYPD Scrambles After Sandy Floods Evidence Warehouses

NYPD Crime Scene Unit vehicle (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NYPD Crime Scene Unit vehicle (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Two months after superstorm Sandy, we are continuing to find out about the extent of the damage. Two NYPD warehouses were flooded out and now the city is dealing with the consequences.

WCBS 880’s John Metaxas On The Story

The warehouses in Red Hook and Greenpoint, Brooklyn were used to store evidence in pending criminal cases – such things as guns, cars, blood-stained clothing, and even rape and DNA kits.

When floodwaters from Sandy surged in, it destroyed or tainted much of that evidence.

Now, the New York Times reports it is having an impact in the criminal courts.

Police were not able to present evidence they had in at least six recent criminal trials.

At least one defendant was convicted of robbery after a judge allowed evidence in that the police could not produce.

Legal aid lawyers say they now don’t now know what evidence prosecutors may or may not have when they plan their cases.

Of course, the lack of evidence could also lead to otherwise strong cases being lost by prosecutors.

Police are also scrambling, sending in teams of officers to see what they can recover from the closed facilities and rushing to build a new warehouse – hopefully in a more dry location.