Crime Scene is a company that sells and distributes forensic supplies to law enforcement agencies, universities, as well as the general public. Tom Arriola, 64, is the founder of Crime scene, and says that the family oriented company has been very successful since the beginning of the business, which started as an online game where detective skills were used to attempt to crack unsolved cases, globally.

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Located at 3602 N. 16th St., Phoenix, Arriola, his daughter, and his grandchildren, are the six employees that work together to manufacture, sell and distribute forensic supplies all around the world. Arriola has a liberal arts degree where he studied theater prior to opening his business. The idea for the business stemmed during his time studying theater, while performing a skit. Soon after, Arriola started off his company by putting together an online game where sleuths on the internet could use real life evidence and video recordings to piece together unsolved cases. As the game gained more attention, Arriola started to sell T-shirts for the players, and later, began to sell actual forensic supplies.

Crime Scene, the online game, as well as the business, started in 1995. Sonja Marlena, a high school student from Portland, Oregon has participated in many discussions online on the game.

“The game is super interesting and I haven’t seen much like it,” Said Marlena. “I think it is interesting that the game is able to bring so many people together, from all over the place, over a common interest of crime.”

Crime Scene has expanded since their opening in 1995. At first, the business started as an outlet for the public with interest in forensics, compared to now where the business sells to many law enforcement agencies.

“When the company first started, it was a lot of CSI TV show fans and hobbyists buying stuff, now we serve a more professional audience, like the FBI and the CIA, as well as schools, which are not what our customers were when we first started,” said Arriola.

Arriola promotes his business on many platforms, his most invested being Amazon advertisements, where Arriola has spent nearly $4 million promoting his business. Over the past 10 years, the business had a change in inventory. Originally, Crime Scene sold products bought from other suppliers, now Arriola and his family make their own supplies in the warehouse behind the store location. In an interview, Arriola addressed his future plans with his company, and his hopes of shifting his shop into a more science education firm due to the number of competing businesses.

Arriola has had more time to focus on expanding his business with the help of his family and says he would not be able to have as successful of a business without the help of his daughter. Caly Gentry, daughter, has worked with her father for 20 years now.

“I had started school studying law, specifically criminal psychology. Once I started a family and had children, it made it hard to make time to go to school and raise a family,” said Gentry.

Gentry was able to continue her interest in the field of crime by working with her father and helping run the business. Arriola says that he has been able to invest more of his time to help spread the word of his business, while his daughter is able to look over the store while he is working on advertisements and connecting with customers.

“My daughter working with me has doubled my liability,” said Arriola. “She has helped me make time to focus on advertisements, and behind the scenes work. Crime Scene would not nearly be as successful of a business without her.”