The Newark Police Department Property & Evidence Unit is responsible for logging and storing thousands of pieces of property each year. Property may be classified as evidence, found, or kept for safekeeping. We utilize an automated bar coding system that allows for easy access and identification of all property in our possession.
The Property & Evidence Unit can be reached at (510) 578-4857, Monday through Thursday, with the exception of holidays observed by the City of Newark.
Questions related to the release of evidence should be directed to the Property Clerk at least 30 days after the seizure date. Items held for evidence may only be released after any prosecution of the criminal case is completed and 90 days after court adjudication of the case. The District Attorney’s Office must approve the release or return of all evidence used in a criminal case. You may contact the DA’s Office at (510) 795-2500 to inquire about the status of your case.
Any person who claims title to any firearm that is in the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency and wishes to have the firearm returned shall submit a Law Enforcement Gun Release Application to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine whether he/she is eligible to possess a firearm (Penal Code 33850). The application is available on line at Bureau of Firearms, California Department of Justice or by calling (916) 227-7527. It may take up to 30 days to process the application.
If the firearm was taken for safekeeping, the owner must start the clearance process with DOJ within 180 days. The owner must then provide the clearance letter to this agency within 30 days of receipt. If the owner is prohibited from ownership and the firearm is not illegal, he/she may sell/transfer the firearm to a licensed firearms dealer (33870 Penal Code). Per 33875 PC, firearms will not be retained after 180 days if left unclaimed.
Destruction of Weapons
If you have handguns, rifles, shotguns, or any other type of weapon that you own and want to discard, you can bring it to the police department to be turned in for destruction. You can also call the police department and an officer will respond to your home to collect the weapon. Please do not bring loaded weapons to the police department. If you are not sure how to operate the weapon, one of our officers will handle that for you. Weapons turned into the police department for destruction will not be released.
Domestic Violence Related - Notice of Rights
Unless the items confiscated from you are to be used as evidence in any criminal procedure, the firearm(s) shall be made available to you from the law enforcement agency within five (5) business days after the seizure or as soon thereafter as possible. You will then be required to obtain a DOJ gun clearance as described in the “Mental Health Incidents – Notice of Rights” section of this document. If, within this time, the law enforcement agency believes the return of these items will likely result in endangering the victim or person reporting a domestic violence assault, you will be advised, and within 60 – 90 days of the seizure, a petition will be initiated in Superior Court to determine if these items should be returned.
Please do not bring explosives, chemicals, or hazardous materials to the police department…call first!
If you encounter such an item, do not touch, handle, or attempt to move it yourself. The police department will determine the proper way to remove the item in a safe manner. Old explosives, fireworks, ammunition, and chemicals can become very unstable and sensitive to movement. When handled incorrectly, these items can explode. Specifically trained experts must handle these items. An officer will respond to your home and inspect the item before contacting trained experts to remove it.
Mental Health Incidents – Notice of Rights
If you were detained under Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 and are subsequently involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility, you are prohibited from owning, possessing, and controlling firearms for a period of five (5) years in California. If you currently own any firearms, you must contact the nearest law enforcement agency to surrender those firearms.
If firearms and/or other deadly weapons were confiscated from you pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102, a report of the details surrounding the confiscation of these items may be given to the county prosecuting agency or City Attorney’s Office. The prosecuting agency must file a petition in the County Superior Court within 30 days of the above date, alleging that the return of these items would be likely to result in endangering you or others, or the items must be returned to you by the law enforcement agency if you are not prohibited from possessing firearms. If the prosecuting agency does file such a petition, you have a right to a hearing on the question of whether returning these firearms would, in fact, be likely to result in endangering you or others. A copy of the prosecuting agency’s petition will be mailed to you at the address you provided to the law enforcement agency. If you wish to request a hearing, you must notify the clerk of the County Superior Court within 30 days of the filing date of the prosecuting agency’s petition. The clerk will then set a date and time for the hearing and a notification will be mailed to you.
The California Civil Code requires found property with a value of $100.00 or more be turned over to the police department. The police department will provide you with a property receipt. If the item is not claimed by the owner(s), you can claim the found property 90 days after it was surrendered to the police department. Items will be held for 90 days to allow rightful owners to claim their property. It is the finder’s responsibility to contact the Property Clerk regarding the procedure to obtain property. If you are the finder of property, contact the Property Clerk regarding found items prior to the conclusion of the 90 day waiting period. Weapons will NOT be released.
If you locate an item of value, please contact the police department as soon as possible. The item(s) you found may not be lost, but actually stolen. These items may become an important part of a police investigation. Found property may be surrendered at the police department or you can contact police dispatch and an officer will meet you at your home to collect the property.
Property is released BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Items will be held for 60 days for pick up by the owner.
Search Warrant, Item(s) Seized as a Result
If your property was seized as a result of a search warrant, you must obtain a valid court order in order to retrieve your property.
Stolen or Embezzled Property
Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1413, upon the filing of a Declaration of Ownership, and after you have been given an opportunity to be heard on the matter, the property may be turned over to the person claiming to be the true owner. If criminal charges are filed, you may ask the court that hears the case to review the decision of this department concerning the return of property. You have 15 days from the date of notice to assert any rights you may have concerning the property taken from you. If you choose to waive your rights, such action may not be held against you in any criminal proceeding. You must notify the Property Clerk in writing within 15 days of notice if you wish to make a claim.