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Property Room/Auctions

6635 Maplewood Ave.
P: 419-885-8914

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Property Room
     Release of Evidence
          Release to Rightful Owner
          Releaser to Finder
     Release of Forfeited Property/Contraband
     Release of Weapons and Firearms
          Firearms
          Weapons Used in Suicides/Suicide Attempts
     Release of Money
     Disposition of Unclaimed Property or Evidence
Auctions

Property Room

The Sylvania Police Division’s Property/Evidence Unit manages and controls all property found or unclaimed and evidence booked into custody. The property officer is responsible for properly receiving, documenting, safeguarding, preparing for release, releasing and destroying all items booked into the property room.

Property found, taken in for safekeeping or no longer needed for evidence purposes, which is not claimed by the owner, is sold through www.GovDeals.com.

Release of Evidence (not including contraband, forfeited property, weapons, firearms or money)

Evidence will not be released until cleared for release by the investigating officer or the prosecutor.

In every case:

  • In which property is released, the final disposition of that property is entered into the final master property log and on the property tag.
  • The property officer will make every reasonable effort to verify rightful ownership to property and the identity of the person to whom the property is being released.
  • The person to whom the property is released will sign the property release card indicating he/she has received this property from the police division.

Release to the Rightful Owner

Property may be released to the rightful owner once all police use of the property is satisfied and the officer who submitted the property has approved the property for release.

Weapons taken as evidence, found or held for safekeeping will be released or disposed of according to the provisions of this order. (See Release of Weapons & Firearms.)

Once an item has been cleared for release by the submitting officer, the property officer will make every reasonable effort to contact the owner and inform the owner when and where the property may be claimed.

If the owner is known

The property officer will attempt to telephone the owner. If unable to make contact by phone, the property officer will send a letter, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner, informing the owner when and where the property may be claimed.

If the owner can't be located or fails to claim the property within a period of 90 days, the property will be considered unclaimed.

Release to Finder

Property, except weapons or contraband, may be released to the finder of the item if the rightful owner is unknown or cannot be located.

If the owner is known

The property officer will telephone the owner. If unable to make phone contact, the property officer will send a letter, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner, informing the owner when and where the property may be claimed.

After the letter is sent, if the owner still cannot be located or fails to claim the property, and a period of 90 days has passed, the property will be considered unclaimed and can then be released to the finder.

If the owner is not known

The property may be released to the finder if the owner has not claimed the item within 90 days.

The finder will sign an affidavit, prepared by the city law department, stating he/she is the finder of the property involved. The disposition of the property is to be entered in the master log.

NOTE: Due to potential conflict of interest or perceptions of conflict of interest, and pursuant to the municipal ordinance concerning the disposition of property, employees of the police division may not claim property found by them and submitted to the property room, regardless of whether the officer was on or off duty when the property was found.

Release of Forfeited Property/Contraband

Property that is forfeited to the police division pursuant to 2933.41 ORC (the city ordinance regarding the disposition of property) or any municipal ordinance or state statute will not be released to its owner or finder. The city law department will prepare court orders describing such forfeited property and designating the city as owner.

Contraband will be handled the same as forfeited property and disposed of in accordance with ORC 2933.41.

Release of Weapons & Firearms

Weapons held as evidence may be released only after the court case is disposed of and with authorization of the prosecutor and Detective Bureau supervisor. Weapons held for safekeeping are retained for a period of 60 days. At that time, the property officer will notify the rightful owner by phone that the weapon may be claimed. Notation of the phone call is made on the property tag.

In every case

  • The property officer will make every reasonable effort to verify proper ownership of the weapon and the identity of the person to whom the weapon is being released.
  • The person receiving the weapon will sign the property receipt indicating the weapon was released to that person.

If the owner is not known

The weapon will be declared unclaimed after a period of 90 days and disposed of according to the law.

If unable to locate the owner by phone

The property officer will send a letter, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner, outlining when and where the weapon may be claimed. If after a total of 90 days the weapon has not been claimed by the owner, the weapon will be declared unclaimed property and disposed of according to this order.

Final disposition of the weapon will be noted on the property tag and in the master property log.

Firearms

Prior to release to rightful owner, firearms must be checked in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database. The owner also must be checked through the FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) for a felony record as outlined in ORC 2923.13. If the owner has a felony record as outlined in 2923.13, the firearm cannot be released to him/her. The owner is notified in writing by the chief of police that he/she is under disability and the weapon cannot be released to them.

Weapons used in Suicides/Suicide Attempts

Any weapon used in the commission of a suicide will be confiscated and kept by this police division. Pursuant to ORC 313.14, those weapons will either be destroyed or converted to police use. They will not be released to any member of the decedent's family except by court order.

Any weapon that has been used in an attempted suicide will handled the same as a weapon used in a suicide; however, a period of 90 days will pass before the weapon is either destroyed or converted to city use. Such weapon will only be released by court order.

Release of Money

Money held as evidence will be released to the rightful owner upon completion of the court case and upon approval of the investigating officer or prosecutor.

In every case, the property officer will make every reasonable effort to verify the ownership or right to possess the property, and the identity of the person to whom the property is being released.

Money that is found may be released to the finder under the following conditions:

  • The property officer will obtain the approval of the submitting officer.
  • The property officer will have made a reasonable effort to locate the actual owner.
  • The owner will not have been located or will have failed to claim the property.

Upon releasing money, the property officer will open the sealed package in the presence of, and count the contents with, the owner or finder. If there is any discrepancy, a supervisor should be notified immediately.

The person receiving the money will sign the property receipt.

Money that is found and unclaimed, or forfeited under the provisions of ORC 2933.41, or any other state, local or federal law, will be disposed of in accordance with this order.

The final disposition of money will be noted on the property tag and in the master property log.

Disposition of Unclaimed Property or Evidence

Unclaimed property or forfeited property may only be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of ORC 2933.41 or the city ordinance outlining the disposition of property held by a law enforcement agency.

The property officer will determine what items are unclaimed and provide the city law department a list of items for disposal.

Auctions

All Property Room Auctions, as well as equipment, office furniture, etc. that is no longer used and/or needed by the police department, will be sold on the public auction website GovDeals.com. Items to be auctioned are listed periodically and are usually posted for two weeks. The items sold can vary widely.

 
William H. Rhodus, Chief of Police

William H. Rhodus
Chief of Police

Elevated