Property & Evidence

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The mission of the Property and Evidence Division is to serve the City of Merced by properly receiving, documenting, safeguarding, preparing for release, releasing and disposing of items booked into the custody of the Merced Police Department. In furtherance of this commitment, releasing or shipping items to other law enforcement agencies for release to owners and submission of items and information for court proceedings are additional responsibilities. The Property and Evidence Division is also required to safeguard non-evidence, such as found items, for times specified by law and to maintain Excessive Prisoner Property of Merced PD prisoners for release or disposal.

Advice to Property Owners

Whenever possible, record the serial number of appliances, televisions, radios, compact disk players, computers, etc. in a safe, secure location so that in case your property is stolen you can provide the serial number to a detective. Please remember that there are thousands of items stolen each year and even though we may recover your property, we will not be able to identify it as your stolen property unless you can provide the serial number.

Photographing or videotaping your property can aid in your insurance claims as well as returning your property. Jewelry and other valuables can be identified using photographs but without a picture it can be very difficult to identify pieces of jewelry or collectibles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where are police auctions of property conducted?

A: The Merced Police Department contracts with to conduct the internet auction of police property. The auctions typically include bicycles, radios, jewelry, and other valuable items that could not be returned to the owner.

Q: Does the Merced Police Department auction vehicles?

A: Any vehicle to be auctioned is sent to Ernst Auction Park in Modesto. Merced Police Department does not auction vehicles.

Q: Does the Merced Police Department have a lost and found section?

A: The Merced Police Department does not have a “Lost and Found.” Found property is put in the Property System and remains there for 90 days, after which it is disposed of in the manner prescribed by law. Found property can be indexed by the owner’s name if it is know, but can also be indexed to a finder or Department employee.

Advice to “Finders”

If you are looking to claim the property you “found”. You must place a free ad in the Merced Sun-Star newspaper for three consecutive days. You must make it a generic ad and list your phone number. If you receive calls regarding the “found” property, direct the caller to the Merced Police Department Property and Evidence phone #209-388-7841.

If no calls are received and an owner has not been identified, contact the Merced Police Department Property and Evidence Division for further instructions and future release of the “found” property.

Property Release forms

Download the appropriate form, fill it out completely and submit it to the Merced Police Department at 611 W. 22nd St., attention Property and Evidence.

You may not request evidence until your case has been closed plus 60 days. The District Attorney’s office will not sign off on any evidence until the case is adjudicated plus 60 days.

Property Releases are a lengthy process. Do not expect to get your property back the day you turn in the request form.