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Property & Evidence

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Orange County Sheriff’s Property/Evidence Detail to receive, document, and safeguard all property and evidence submitted to the custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department by maintaining the integrity and security of all items of property and evidence that we are entrusted with.

Property Pick-up Information & Hours

Release of property is by appointment only, to schedule an appointment call 714-834-6482 Monday - Friday 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Property and Evidence Detail is Located At: 320 N. Flower St.,Santa Ana, CA 92703

Appointment Days

Appointment Hours

Tuesday & Thursday Mornings:

7:00 PM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday & Thursday Afternoons:

1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Overview

The Property/Evidence Detail has the responsibility of receiving, documenting, storing and maintaining the integrity and security of all items of property and evidence submitted by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's Department, the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the Public Administrator's Office, and the Orange County Probation Department. The Property/Evidence Detail manages three different facilities, which maintain custody and control of over 160,000 items of property and evidence. The Detail presently consists of one sergeant, six budgeted Sheriff Special Officer positions, three Legal Property Technician positions and one Office Technician. The Detail maintains property/evidence storage lockers at the following Sheriff-Coroner facilities; Brad Gates Forensic Science Building , Stanton Station, John Wayne Airport , Aliso Viejo Station , Yorba Linda Station,  San Clemente Station, OCTA and the Coroners’ Office .

The Orange County Sheriff's Department has received recognition for the proficient and efficient manner in which the Property/Evidence Detail is operated. Credit is partially due to the use of a  software program designed by the Sheriff's Department named Property/Evidence Automated Booking Information Tracking System (P.E.A.B.I.T.S.). This software program, with the use of bar codes and scanners, allows staff to easily scan, track and locate items as they are moved from different storage locations.

In addition to receiving and maintaining control of these items, Property & Evidence staff has the responsibility of monitoring and arranging disposition of each item as soon as possible. Items are released to the lawful owner, converted to department use, donated to local charities, scheduled for destruction, or sold to the general public through online auction.

The destruction of all narcotics, weapons, and other contraband is accomplished in accordance with all Federal, State, and County laws. The Orange County Sheriff's Department has not only chosen to select a method that is ecologically safe, but is beneficial to the community.

Public Forms

Public Information

Who notifies me if the Sheriff's Department is holding my property?

It is the Patrol officer's responsibility to attempt to locate and notify owners. Generally, when property is seized as evidence or safekeeping, a receipt will be left with the person it was taken from. This receipt  will contain the Sheriff's case number, and you will need this number when you contact the Sheriff's Property & Evidence Detail.

What are the criteria for retrieving my property from the Property/Evidence Detail?

Case Number: You must first have the case number (or DR #) that is assigned to your property.

Evidence: If the property was seized as evidence, the investigator assigned to the case must sign a release saying that you may pick up the item(s). Only the person listed as the owner of the property is authorized to pick the item(s) up. If the owner is hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated, a power of attorney form will be necessary. Valid photo identification must be presented in order to receive the item(s).

Weapons: Prior to making an appointment to have a firearm released to you, you must insure all weapons are registered to you, then obtain a California Law Enforcement Gun Release letter through the California Department of Justice. Keep in mind that once you receive the clearance letter allowing you to possess a firearm, you will have 30 days from the date on the letter to make your appointment and to pick the firearm(s) up.

You may find the application for the LEGR, the cost to run the background check, and other answers to frequently asked questions dealing with the release of firearms at the following DOJ Link: http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

Effective January 1, 2014, a number of changes in California Law took effect regarding firearms.

Please refer to the California Department of Justice website for specific regulations that may apply in your individual situation.

Safekeeping: Peace officers have the authority to temporarily take into custody firearms or other deadly weapons at the scene of domestic violence. No firearm or other deadly weapon shall be held less than 48 hours.

If the weapon is not retained as evidence to a criminal proceeding, it shall be made available 48 hours after the seizure or as soon thereafter as possible, but no later than 5 business days after the seizure.  The owner is still required to provide a valid LEGR in order to retrieve any firearm.

How long does the Sheriff's Department hold property taken for safekeeping?

Section 2080.10 (b) of the California Civil Code states that property taken for temporary safekeeping must be claimed within 60 days after the public agency obtains possession or the property will be disposed of in accordance with the disposal provisions of this article. It is the policy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department to retain all property taken for safekeeping for an additional 30 days prior to scheduling the property for disposal.

If the department was unable to make notification to the owner of the property, or if the owner provides written notification that they are in custody and unable to pick up the property or have an authorized person retrieve the property, the property will be retained no longer than 12 months. It will then be scheduled for disposal.

How long does the Sheriff's Department hold found property?

California Civil Code requires the Sheriff's Department to retain found property for a minimum of 90 days, after which such property may be sold at public auction. It is the policy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department to retain all found property for an additional 30 days prior to scheduling the property for disposal.

How can I turn in found property to the Sheriff's Department?

You can telephone the Orange County Sheriff's Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a deputy will be dispatched to your residence or place of business within County jurisdiction. The deputy will take a written report, and take possession of the property. The property is then placed in a property/evidence locker until it can be transferred to the Central Property/Evidence Office in Santa Ana.

To contact the Sheriff's Department, please call the following business telephone numbers. Do NOT call 911.

  • South Orange County, (949) 770-6011.
  • North Orange County, (714) 647-7000.

Am I required to turn in found property?

Section 2080 of the California Civil Code states that any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Any person that finds and takes possession of any money, goods, or other material things, shall within a reasonable amount of time, inform the owner, if known, and make restitution without compensation.

Section 2080.1(a) of the California Civil Code states that if the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable amount of time, turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county it was found, or the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city limits, and shall make an affidavit, stating when and where he or she found or saved the property.

How can I claim property, which I have turned into the Sheriff's Department?

Section 2080.3(a) of the California Civil Code states that if the reported value of the property is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more, and no owner appears and proves his ownership of the property within 90 days, the Sheriff's Department shall call notice of the property to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation. If, after seven days following the first publication of the notice, no owner appears and proves his ownership of the property and the person who found or saved the property pays the cost of the publication, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction.

(b) If the reported value of the property is less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property within 90 days, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property, unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction.

Note: For Sections 2080.3(a) and 2080.3(b) to be applicable and for title to be vested in the person who found or saved the property, he or she must sign the affidavit on the back of the Found Property Report Form when the deputy takes possession of the property. Refusal to sign the affidavit at the time the property is turned over to the Sheriff's Department shall be deemed the intention of the finder to abandon title to the found property when such title should vest to the finder.

If no owner appears to prove his ownership of the property and the finder fails to claim the property within 23 days after the 97 day holding period (value $250 or over) or within 30 days after the 90 day holding period (value under $250), or the finder refuses to pay all reasonable charges, then title to the property shall not vest in the finder and the property shall be processed as unclaimed property.

If I feel that I have met the criteria to have my property released, what do I need to do?

The Sheriff's Property/Evidence Detail is open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can be reached by calling (714) 834-6482. You will need to call and make an appointment to arrange the release of property to you. Appointments are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the morning and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

Property is only released by appointment due to some items being located at other locations. This will provide staff with the time to transfer the property to the main office in Santa Ana. Our main office is located at the Brad Gates Forensic Science Building at 320 N. Flower Street in the City of Santa Ana. Directions

Are bicycles also available through the auction?

Yes, bicycles can be found at www.gwsauctions.com