Friday, April 28, 2017
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Crime Scene Investigations

Picture1.jpgThe Atascadero Police Department Property and Evidence Technician is allied with the Investigations Unit and is responsible for the collection and storage of evidence and property, including forensic or trace evidence. The Property and Evidence Technician responds to crime scenes to assist with the more complex identification and recovery of evidence. That evidence may include fingerprints, blood and semen samples, tool marks, or photographs. As even a casual viewer of the current proliferation of "CSI" television shows can attest, criminal investigations are more often demanding detailed and highly scientific crime scene investigations.

To ensure the most contemporary knowledge and skills in crime scene investigation and evidence recovery, the Property and Evidence Technician regularly attends highly specialized training seminars and maintains a membership in state and national property and evidence organizations.

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Property Room

Crime scene investigations and evidence recovery are not the only functions of the Property and Evidence Technician. Equally important to the Department's integrity and the ultimate successful prosecution of a crime is the proper, safe, and secure storage of evidence that is the responsibility of the Property and Evidence Technician. Evidence is of no value in a criminal prosecution if its security and untampered condition can be questioned.

Frequently Asked Questions

-What are your hours of operation?

The Police Property Unit is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m by appointment only.


-How do I get my property back?

All property is released by appointment only. Call the Police Property Unit at (805) 470-3264 for release information and appointments.

  • Found property is held for a period of 90 days. If the property is unable to be returned to the rightful owner, it may be offered back to the finder. The Police Property Unit will mail a letter to the finder. A response must be made within 15 days from the date on the letter in order for the finder to be able to claim the property.
  • Property held for safekeeping will be held for a period of at least 60 days. If the owner of the items is known, a letter will be mailed to the owner requiring that the owner respond by telephone within 15 days to retrieve the items. If no response is received within 15 days, the items may be disposed of in the manner prescribed by law. Firearms held for safekeeping are an exception.
  • Firearms held for safekeeping or evidence as a result of a family problem, a violent crime or potentially violent crime or mental health issue have special requirements for release.

FIREARMS: In those cases where Atascadero Police has confiscated a firearm(s) or other deadly weapon(s) into custody pursuant to Penal Code § 12028.5, a petition may be initiated in the Superior Court within 60 days of seizure to determine whether the firearm(s) or other deadly weapon(s) should be returned. (A petition may be filed to extend the time to 90 days if necessary.)

The first step for the person who claims title to the firearm(s) or other deadly weapon(s) is to obtain the Atascadero Police case agent or City Attorney’s authorization for release. The second step is to make application for a determination by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as to whether the person who claims title is eligible to possess a firearm(s) or other deadly weapon(s). The

Law Enforcement Gun Release Application is available online at: Release Form

  • All other items held as evidence:

*Felony arrest cases: Evidence items will be held for a minimum of 60 days from the date of final disposition. If the owner does not claim the items at that time, they may be disposed of or destroyed in the manner prescribed by law.

*Misdemeanor arrest cases: Evidence will be held for 30 days from the date of sentencing and then items will be disposed of or destroyed in the manner prescribed by law.

*If no arrest has been made and/or no suspect identified: Evidence items may be held up to 1 year or longer depending on the status of the case

-Can someone else pickup and owner's property?

Yes. The owner must write a “letter of permission.” The letter should be dated and signed by the owner. It should give a specific person permission to retrieve the owner’s property. Example:

*Today’s Date

*Atascadero Police Property Unit,

*My name is John Smith. I am currently unable to retrieve my property under police report number 10-1234 due to being hospitalized, incarcerated, etc. I give permission for my Mother, Jane Smith, to retrieve my property from the Atascadero Police Property Unit.

*Signature

*The person picking up the owner’s belongings should have the police report number, the original letter of permission and valid picture identification in the form of a California Driver’s License, a California Identification Card or a Passport.


What recourse do citizens have if property has been wrongly released or destroyed?

The citizen may contact the Atascadero City Clerk’s Office at (805) 461-5000. Paperwork may be mailed to the citizen to file a claim against the City of Atascadero. The citizen will need to bring the completed paperwork to the City Clerk’s Office for filing.

-Does the Police Property Unit auction their unclaimed property and evidence?

All unclaimed property and evidence are sold through an online auction at PropertyRoom.com. The proceeds from the auction are deposited into the City’s general fund. The website PropertyRoom.com features a stolen property repository. It is a nationwide registery where victims may register stolen items by clicking the Steal-It-Back Registry link: Steal-It-Back. Sign up is free.

PropertyRoom.com personnel record serial numbers of all items they receive and check these numbers against their "Stolen Property Registry."

If you have property in the custody of the Department that you would like returned, contact
Property and Evidence Technician Ryan Enfantino at 805/470-3264 first to learn if the property can be released and is available for release and next to schedule an appointment to receive the property. Property is only returned Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays, from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM.


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