Property and Evidence
- Patrol Deputies collect evidence arising from criminal investigations. Evidence is typically a physical item(s) or digital media used to store photographs, audio recordings, or video. Physical evidence, such as: weapons, clothing, or controlled substances are held in a secure temporary evidence locker until the property officer can catalog and store the evidence in one of Sheriff's Evidence Storage Areas. Digital evidence is stored on a computer server. All evidence is stored until the criminal case is adjudicated. Once the case reaches a final disposition, certain evidence can be released. The Sheriff will not return illegal drugs, weapons, or other contraband. All such illegal property will be destroyed after the criminal case concludes. The Sheriff cannot release any evidence from a criminal case without the authorization of the Lassen County District Attorney's Office.
Decedent's Property - The most common property seized and stored is a result of death investigations or other coroner's cases. The Sheriff / Coroner is responsible to secure valuables from coroner's cases until such time the property can be released to a next of kin. The Sheriff / Coroner will work with the decedent's family to verify appropriate kinship and then release property accordingly. Refer to the Coroner page for further details.
Found Property - Citizens can turn in found property at the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's Personnel will make an attempt to locate the rightful owner.
Release of Property
Once property has been signed off to be released, a letter will be sent to the rightful owner listed in the original case. The owner of the property has 30 days from the date of the letter to pick up their property. After 30 days the property will be disposed of according to law. Persons wanting to retrieve their property held in evidence can contact the District Attorney's Office for an Evidence Release Authorization for their property.
Firearms taken into custody must have a form sent to the Department of Justice for release of the firearm(s) to the owner once they are available for return. A letter will be sent to the rightful owner along with the DOJ form(s) with instructions when available for return. The owner of the firearm(s) will have 180 days from the date of the letter to acquire their firearm(s). The owner has 30 days from the date of the letter from the Department of Justice to pick up their firearm(s). Once the 30 day period expires the owner will have to resubmit another form along with appropriate fees to the Department of Justice.
All firearm(s) not retrieved from the Sheriff’s Department will be disposed of according to law if not picked up within the 180 day time period.
If the person requesting return of a firearm is not eligible to own or possess firearms, the owner may transfer or sell the firearm.
All firearms must be registered to the person seeking return of a firearm per the Department of Justice. See second page on Law Enforcement Gun Release Application.
If the firearm is not registered, a Firearm Ownership Record form may be filled out to meet this Department of Justice requirement.