Redondo Beach Police Department – Technical Services Supervisor: Silvia Villarreal
Property and Evidence Unit Telephone Number
(310) 379-2477 X 1-2339
Hours of Operation
The Property and Evidence Unit is open:
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
Recover My Property
What must I do to recover property held by the Redondo Beach Police Department?
Contact the Property and Evidence Officer at (310) 379-2477 extension 1-2719:
Provide your name, a case number, or other information to allow us to find the property
Verify that the property may be released
Determine if it is held as evidence in a case (if held as evidence, you will require release approval from the detective or the court)
Make an appointment to retrieve the property if it can be released
Bring government photo identification to your appointment at the police station. Accepted identification includes:
State identification card
Bring any documentation that may verify that you own the property (if ownership is at question). This may include:
A Redondo Beach Police Department field property receipt
A court order
An order for release by an investigator
A verifiable sales receipt with serial numbers
The police report number of the incident that documents your property
A notarized letter authorizing the release of property to you by the owner, if they are unable to appear to recover the property personally
A request letter to release property to an employee if on institutional letterhead with an official witness
Other documentation that may show that you own the property in police custody
Why can’t I recover my property immediately from the Redondo Beach Police Department?
For security purposes, a limited number of police employees have access to the property and evidence held by the police department. These employees work during business hours Monday through Friday.
The process to recover property held by the Police Department will depend on the type of property you want to recover. The release of certain property is dictated by the laws of the State of California. Some of the different types of property are:
Property that is Found
Property seized in a Search Warrant
Property held as Evidence
Firearms and weapons
Property held for safekeeping
Property taken from an Inmate
How may I improve the chances of my property being returned to me when it can be released?
It is important to keep your address current with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This is a primary means for the police department to locate and contact you when notice must be given to you about your property.
Call to the Property and Evidence Unit to determine the status of your property.
What is my recourse if property has been released or destroyed in error?
A person may contact the City Clerk's Office of the City of Redondo Beach at (310) 318-0656 or the Property and Evidence Unit at (310) 379-2477 extension 2719 to request a Liability Claim Form or print a copy here or from the City Clerk's website at http://www.redondo.org/depts/city_clerk/forms.asp
A person will need to bring the completed form to the City Clerk's Office at 415 Diamond Street, Door C for filing.
How may I recover property in police department custody of a family member or friend that died?
Bring the following documents and information with you to your appointment:
A certified copy of the decedent's death certificate (at least 40 days must have passed since the death).
A certified copy of the estate rights (power of attorney, executor, etc.) and/or an affidavit or declaration which complies with Probate Code 13101.
Property that is Found
If I lost property and someone gave it to the police, how can I recover it?
Contact the Property and Evidence Officer at (310) 379-2477 extension 1-2719
To verify that the property was recovered
To prove ownership to the satisfaction of the police department
To make an appointment to retrieve the property
Found Property must be held for a period of 90 days.
If the found property is not claimed by the owner or the finder within 90 days, the property will be auctioned, donated or disposed pursuant to police department policy and in accordance with Civil Code 2080.1 and 2080.3.
If the found property is worth more than $250.00 and is not claimed within the 90 day period, the department must advertise the property in a newspaper of general circulation Civil Code 2080.3.
The department must wait seven days following the date of first publication of the notice.
The finder may be required to pay cost of publication before the title will vest in the person who found or saved the property.
If I found property and gave it to the police, can I have it when no one claims it?
If the property is not claimed by the owner or by the finder, the property is auctioned, donated or disposed by department policy and in accordance with California Civil Code 2080.1.
The finder of property or cash that is not claimed within those 90 days can apply to claim the items.
Commonly found property that citizens seek to claim generally includes jewelry, bicycles, cash, clothing, etc.
Found firearms and contraband cannot be claimed by the finder. These items will be destroyed or disposed as prescribed by law.
If you have any other questions about claiming found property, you may call (310) 379-2477 X 1-2719.
Property Seized by a Search Warrant
How can I recover my property that was seized by a search warrant signed by a judge?
Property that is seized by the execution of a search warrant may only be released with a court order to release the property.
If you have a question if the property was taken in a search warrant of your home, business or vehicle contact the Redondo Beach Investigator at (310) 379-2477 X 1-2714.
Request to speak with the Investigator by name, if you have it, or
Provide the following information to identify the assigned Investigator:
The address where the search warrant occurred
The date and time when the search warrant was executed
Your name and date of birth
The Redondo Beach Case Number (It will have the format of the year followed by a four digit number 11-0000.)
Why do I need a court order and when will I receive my property?
California Penal Code 1536 requires that you obtain a court order to recover property that has been confiscated as a result of a search warrant.
By law, the Redondo Beach Police Department is allowed 10 days to return property upon receipt of a court order.
This allows the investigating officer to receive notification of the court order and to determine if the property must be retained for the investigation.
The investigator may contact the court and notify a judge why the property should remain in the custody of Redondo Beach Police Department.
The judge will make a determination whether the property should be returned or remain in police custody.
Property Taken as Evidence
How do I recover property that was taken as evidence by the police department?
The investigating officer or the City Prosecutor must approve the release or return of all evidence taken for a case under investigation.
Before you can recover property that was taken as evidence, certain processes must be completed by the Police Department and by the Courts. (Read "Why evidence is held" below.)
When all legal processes have been completed. This evidence may only be released after a case disposition, i.e., dismissal, plea, trial, sentencing, and appeals.
Contact the investigating officer or the City Prosecutor's Office for release authorization.
Make an appointment with the Property and Evidence Unit by calling (310) 379-2477 x 1-2719.
The Redondo Beach Police Department holds evidence items to prove or disprove facts related to incidents under investigation.
Evidence items may be retained pending forensic analysis, i.e., the collection, review and analysis of fingerprints, DNA, serology, or photographs.
Evidence items may be retained pending the expiration of the statute of limitation for the crime committed in the case.
The statute of limitation will vary based on the seriousness of the crime.
The statute of limitation may vary if the suspect flees and has a warrant for his/her arrest.
Evidence items may be entered as evidence in a court case and will be held pending the conclusion of the case and any appeals.
Evidence may be held to prove or disprove facts about:
A traffic collision
A documented incident
If an arrest has not been made and/or a suspect has not been identified, evidence items may be held up to one year or longer depending on the severity of the crime and the status of the case.
Crime evidence may usually be released only:
After the prosecution of the criminal case is completed (i.e.; by dismissal, plea, trial or after sentencing) AND
After the investigating officer provides the Property and Evidence Unit with a “case disposition”
In more serious cases, such as homicide, rape, assault with a deadly weapon etc., evidence may never be released due to long term appeal processes in the courts and the potential for defense requests for additional analysis.
In some instances, the prosecutor (Deputy District Attorney or City Prosecutor) may authorize the release of some types of evidence depending on the retention practices proof of evidence authorized by the court.
When the case prosecution and all appeals are completed, the case investigator may receive a disposition form from the court.
The investigator will direct that the property to be released to the rightful owner, or it will be destroyed if it cannot be released.
What happens to the money that I lost or that was stolen from me and is being held by the police department?
Money may be held by the police department:
As inmate property
The police department generally does not retain any currency in its evidence facilities. The police department deposits the currency with the Financial Services Department.
Money held as evidence in a criminal case will not be released without a court order, with authorization by the investigating officer or by the City Prosecutor.
Money being held for safekeeping will be released to the owner upon proof of ownership or with a notarized letter from the owner authorizing the release to another person with identification.
Money from an inmate’s property in excess of $499.00 will be entered in evidence. The court lockup will not allow inmates to have money in excess of $499.00.
Any unclaimed money after 90 days that is not related to an active case may automatically be forfeited to the General Fund at the City of Redondo Beach City Clerk’s Office.
How do I recover the money that I lost or that was stolen from me and is being held by the police department?
Contact the Property and Evidence Supervisor at (310) 379-2477 extension 1-2339 to determine if the money may be returned at this time.
Contact the Investigations Division Sergeant at (310) 379-2477 extension 1-2309 to obtain approval for the release of the money if directed by the Property and Evidence Supervisor. This will be necessary when the money is evidence in certain types of crimes.
Note that in some circumstances, the Property and Evidence Supervisor may approve the release of the money.
Upon approval to release the money, the Property and Evidence Supervisor will submit a payment request to the Financial Services Department to pay you.
This process takes approximately three to six weeks.
Checks are approved and issued twice each month at City Council meetings.
The Property and Evidence Supervisor will contact you when the check is ready for retrieval.
You may claim the check in-person at the police station or by mail.
In-person: Make an appointment by calling (310) 379-2477 extension 1-2719 or 1-2339. Bring government photo identification and/or a RBPD field property receipt or RBPD police report number.
By mail: Contact the Property and Evidence Supervisor at (310) 379-2477 1-2339. The supervisor will coordinate the process with you if it is possible to mail the payment.
A Field Property Receipt is proof of your possession or ownership of property if it is taken from you by a Redondo Beach police officer, evidence technician, jailer or other member of the department.
Department members will usually issue you a Field Property Receipt that describes the items taken and the reason(s) why they were taken.
The reverse side of the Field Property Receipt has instructions about how the seized property will be handled, released or destroyed if it is not claimed within the time periods defined by law.
The Field Property Receipt is also used to accept found property from the finder pursuant to Civil Code 2080; the finder signs the form and declares, under penalty of perjury, that the owner of the found property is unknown to them.
How may I recover my stolen or missing bicycle?
Bicycles are the most common items submitted as “Found Property.” Unfortunately, very few bicycles are matched to or can be released to owners because they cannot adequately prove ownership of the bicycle. The following practices can improve your ability to recover a stolen or missing bicycle:
Record the serial number of your bicycle and retain it in a place where you can find it
License/register your bicycle with the Redondo Beach Police Department
Etch an identifying number such as your driver license number or other number on an obscure portion of the frame separate from the serial number
Place a unique sticker or other identifier visible on the frame
Retain a photograph of you and your bicycle documenting these unique additions
Bicycles submitted as “evidence” will be released to the rightful owner or their designee with proper authorization and valid photo identification by appointment only.
All other bicycles held for safekeeping or found can be returned with photo identification, proof of ownership and an appointment for pick up.
Unclaimed found bicycles submitted by a person can be claimed after 90 days by contacting the Property and Evidence Unit at (310) 379-2477 X 1-2719 for more information.
How can I prevent my bicycle from being stolen?
You can lessen the chances of your bicycle being stolen by:
Leaving your garage door closed and locked at home
Parking your bicycle in an area that is open to public view
Locking your bicycle to a heavy duty bicycle rack or sturdy object
Using a high quality locking device.
Heavy duty cables and locks will deter many thieves, but cables are often cut by suspects that use bolt cutters.
A hardened steel U-lock may be more effective against suspects using these types of tools.
Where do I find the serial number on my bike?
The location of the serial number on the bicycle will be different depending on the manufacturer. Some of the common places to find your serial number are:
On the head tube (where the handlebars are inserted)
Across the top bar of the frame
On the seat tube (where the seat is inserted)
On the lower bar
Under the crank housing (where the pedals connect)
On one the rear forks (on the vertical tube)
On one of the rear stays (on the horizontal tube where the rear wheel axle is mounted)
A good reference for serial number locations is available at the following website:
The Property and Evidence Unit is part of the Support Services Bureau. The proper handling of evidence is essential to the effective investigation and prosecution of a criminal case. The Property and Evidence Unit maintains the integrity of each evidence item and its chain of custody. State law and department policy ensure that safeguards are in place to preserve the value of evidence from collection through its presentation in court. The unit is staffed by a Community Services Officer Supervisor and a Community Services Officer who perform numerous daily tasks that include:
Property and evidence maintenance and disposition
Equipment maintenance, distribution and disposition
Vehicle acquisition and maintenance
They are tasked with documenting, receiving, storing, tracking and disposing of property and evidence that is collected by officers of the Redondo Beach Police Department. The Unit processes approximately 6,000 pieces of new evidence and property every year and must dispose of property that is no longer needed as evidence or that is past the retention period required by law. The Property and Evidence Unit must:
Maintain the integrity of all evidence by tracking the "chain of custody"
Preserve all property from contamination, damage, theft or loss
Serve as the liaison to the courts and other law enforcement agencies for evidence needs
Arrange and document interim releases and returns of property for forensic analysis, for court and for investigative uses
Identification and return of evidence and property to rightful owners
Ensure that all releases and dispositions of property are legal and documented
Arrange for the destruction of narcotics and weapons
Arrange for the auctioning and/or destruction of unclaimed property
The Property and Evidence Unit is responsible for the police department's equipment. This includes the acquisition and distribution of personal equipment and uniforms to all members of the department, material and supplies, and building maintenance tasks.
The Property and Evidence Unit is responsible for the maintenance of the police department's fleet of vehicles.