Sacramento Police Department

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Evidence and Property FAQ

What should I do if my property is lost or stolen?

If your property has been lost or stolen, you should file a report as soon as possible or call the SPD Records Section at (916) 808-0620. If you have a record of the serial number on the item(s) or if you have applied your own number, include that in the report. Items lost or stolen that are reported with their serial numbers stand a far better chance of being returned to their owners. An owner has 90 days to claim his/her found property. If you have lost some property and would like to see if it has possibly been turned in, you may contact us by phone. As a finder, you may contact us at 90 days to see if the item remains unclaimed; we will advise you of release procedures at that time.

Top of Page

Can I look at your bikes to see if mine has been recovered?

Bike viewing can be done during normal business hours, 8:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. Monday through Thursday (excluding City holidays). Please bring in your lost/stolen report number with you. Also bring documents or any other proof that the recovered bike is yours. When you arrive, you will fill out a card with specific information about your missing bicycle, then you will have the opportunity to view our found bikes to see if we have your bike.

Top of Page

When can I claim my property that was taken for safekeeping?

Owners must pick up any safekeeping and/or personal property items within 60 days. If you need more time, call or write to request an extension. Unclaimed items will either go to charitable organizations or be disposed.

Top of Page

When can I claim my property that was booked as evidence?

For all evidence held in which a person has been arrested/cited, we must receive a District Attorney confirmation that the case is closed on all defendants. In some cases, the District Attorney may not release items immediately, pending further investigation or appeals. We also must receive a detective release on all assigned cases. Upon closure of the cases and receipt of necessary releases, an owner must pick up his/her property within 15 days. If your mailing address changes, notify the Property Section so that you can be notified when your property is available.

Top of Page

What should I bring when I come in to pick up my property?

In order to be helped in the most efficient manner, please bring your government-issued ID (CA driver license/ ID, military ID, or passport) along with your case number or Property Record number. Bring your notification letter if you received one. If there are special circumstances regarding the pick up of your property, please contact our office.

Top of Page

Can someone else pick up my property?

If you would like someone else to pick up your property, we must receive a NOTARIZED letter of authorization from you. If you are picking up property of a person who is currently incarcerated, that person must write a letter authorizing you to pick up his/her property, and it must be witnessed by an officer/guard at the correctional facility with the officer's name, badge number, and contact phone number. For deceased owners, if you have no power of attorney or will with copy of death certificate, we will contact the Coroner to identify the next of kin (who will then be able to pick up the property). Please include the General Offense number or the Property Record number on all paperwork in order for us to help you more efficiently.

Top of Page

What are the general types of items booked?


Evidence includes items of property which have some connection to a crime (such as tools used to commit a burglary or items recovered from a previous burglary). Because items booked as evidence may be used during the course of a criminal trial, they are handled differently from other items in regard to handling, packaging, etc.

Items held as evidence are usually retained until the prosecution of the criminal case has been concluded on all parties involved in the case. Approval may be required from both the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and the police detective assigned to the case before property can be released.

Property Section personnel DO NOT have information on case dispositions. If you have questions about a criminal case or need to know the current status, please contact the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office at (916) 874-6218 and ask to speak with the Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case (you will need to provide the case number). Online inquiries can be made at the Sacramento County District Attorney. If you don't know the case number, contact the Records Section at (916) 808-0620.


Safekeeping items are those held for the owner for various reasons and are not intended to be used as evidence in a criminal case. The owner has 60 days from the date the items are booked to pick up his/her property. Unclaimed items are disposed of in accordance with California law.

All illegal weapons, ammunition, drugs or narcotics which are confiscated, found, or otherwise turned into the Sacramento Police Department will be destroyed.

Weapons turned in or taken for safekeeping due to a domestic violence incident or an incident where the person is taken in for psychiatric evaluation may be retrieved from the Evidence & Property Section when certain conditions are met and after receiving clearance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ). Weapons unclaimed after 180 days will be destroyed. For contact information, see the paragraph titled "Release of Firearms" on the following page.

Items held for safekeeping, found property, recovered, and cleared stolen property are released to their owners, upon proof of ownership. If unclaimed, these items are eventually sold at auction. Some items in dangerous or unusable condition will be destroyed.


California law requires found property with a value of $100.00 or more to be turned over to the police department. The finder will receive a receipt. If the property remains unclaimed for 90 days, the finder may claim it. If the item is worth more than $250.00 it must be advertised in the newspaper for seven (7) days after the 90 day wait period, prior to release to the finder. The finder may be required to pay for the advertising costs.

If you have found property, please call the police as soon as possible. Found items may not be lost, but may actually have been stolen or involved in the commission of a crime which police may currently be investigating. Found property can be turned over to any police officer or brought to any police facility.

If you find property in another city (outside Sacramento), please call or go to the police department or sheriff's station in the city or county where you found the item and turn it in there.

Top of Page

What are the specific conditions for certain items booked?

Weapons and Ammunition

If you own/possess any rifles, shotguns, handguns, ammunition or any other type of weapon that you wish to get rid of, you can bring it to any police facility for destruction. All firearms MUST be unloaded prior to transporting them to the police facility. Please DO NOT attempt to bring a loaded weapon into the police facility. If you are not familiar with firearms and are unsure how to unload a weapon, please call non-emergency dispatch at (916) 264-5471 and explain to the dispatcher that you have a loaded firearm that you want destroyed, but are unsure how to unload it. An officer will be dispatched to retrieve the firearm.

If you find a gun, or any other weapon outside, DO NOT TOUCH IT! Call the police department non-emergency dispatch at (916) 264-5471, and an officer will be sent to collect it. It is very important that the weapon remain undisturbed until an officer arrives. The firearm may have been discarded after use in a crime and could be a key item in a current police investigation.

Release of Firearms

California law requires that any time a firearm is reclaimed from a law enforcement agency, the owner must undergo a background check by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). This is done by contacting DOJ at (916) 227-7527. They will provide information on how to file an application for a firearm release. After DOJ conducts a background check, they will provide a letter to the applicant authorizing him/her to own/possess firearms. An additional check will be made when you come in to claim the weapon. This is to ensure that there hasn't been a change to your record since the DOJ check. Be prepared to wait up to one hour. Information is available at the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms.

If the firearm has been taken as evidence in a crime or suspected crime, clearance may have to be obtained from the investigating officer.


Please DO NOT bring explosives, chemicals, or other hazardous materials to the police department for destruction. If you have or find any types of explosives, unknown ammunition or other types of flammables (i.e.: dynamite, blasting caps, fireworks, or antique military items or ordinance) or any other possible volatile hazardous materials you want to dispose of please call Non-Emergency Dispatch at (916) 264-5471.

Tell Dispatchers what you have and they will send an officer or other experts to the scene to examine and secure the material. Old explosives, ammunition and other chemicals can be very unstable, sensitive to movement, and CAN EXPLODE if moved or handled incorrectly. Specially trained experts must be brought in to handle these items. An officer may be sent to your location to determine if experts are required.

To claim money taken as evidence or safekeeping, a money claim form may have to be filled out depending on the circumstances. Call the Evidence & Property Section at (916) 808-5237 for more information.
Property Receipts
If items are collected or taken from you by Sacramento Police Officers, they may issue or have you sign an Evidence and Property Booking receipt. This form will list the items removed or taken. The receipt will also contain an SPD report number on the top right corner of the page. Please refer to this report number when making any inquiries.
Top of Page

Where can I get more information?

Sacramento Police Department
Evidence & Property Section
555 Sequoia Pacific Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95811 (map it)

Phone: (916) 808-5237
Fax: (916) 808-7366
Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (excluding City holidays)

Top of Page

© City of Sacramento | Web Policies | Need a document in an alternate format? | Text Only | Top of Page

We speak your language