Property and Evidence
Yakima Police Property & Evidence Unit
Public Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Property & Evidence Unit of the Services Division is responsible for the processing, preservation, destruction, and release of all items collected annually by the Yakima Police Department. The Unit is currently staffed by three full-time employees: a Police Services Lead, a Police Services Specialist II, and a Police Services Specialist I.
The Unit is responsible for upholding the integrity of evidence and chain of custody of all property that comes into their possession in accordance with federal and state laws, city ordinances, and departmental policies and procedures. The personnel has been trained in proper storage techniques to ensure that the integrity of the property and evidence is maintained and is in the process of becoming certified through the International Association of Property and Evidence. A computerized bar coding system, referred to as the BEAST System, is used to maintain the detailed records necessary to preserve the “chain of custody” of over 50,000 items being stored as evidence, found property, and safekeeping property currently being stored.
Appointments are required to obtain items being held, please call the number above to schedule a pick up; photo ID is required to be presented in order to obtain items. Unless an item is contraband or must be held for investigation, every reasonable effort is made to ensure that it is returned to the rightful owner. This is in accordance with Washington State RCW 63.32.010. Items which cannot be returned are disposed of by auction through PropertyRoom.com or Heaverlo Northwest, donated to local non-profit charities, retained for department use when authorized, or, in the case of contraband and firearms, by legally destroying it.
The Unit is also responsible for conducting background checks, preparing items for evidence view, as well as for court, and completing data entry into multiple specialized systems, to include, Spillman, the BEAST, SNARE, DEC, ACCESS, and ATF E-Trace which is a program that the Yakima Police Department participates in through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
All release of items are by appointment only, please call the number above to schedule a pickup. You must present photo ID before your item(s) can be returned. Appointments are made between the hours of 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Where are police auctions of property conducted?
A: The Yakima Police Department utilizes the services of PropertyRoom.com to auction recovered, lawfully seized, or unclaimed property of every kind and description, remaining unclaimed for 60 days or more. These auctions are available on an ongoing basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The auctions typically include bicycles, radios, jewelry, and other items that could not be returned to the owner.
Q: Does the Yakima Police Department auction vehicles?
A: Any vehicle to be auctioned is sent to Heaverlo Northwest Auctions, located at 1212 S Keys Road, Yakima, WA 98901. The Yakima Police Department does not auction vehicles.
Q: I have a CPL, why can’t I pick up my firearm?
My firearm was taken for safekeeping, why can’t I have it back today?
A: The release of firearms is governed by how the weapon was submitted into the Property & Evidence Unit: Found Property, Evidence, Safekeeping, or Court Ordered Surrender. Once firearms are authorized for release, either by Court Order, the assigned Detective or the Prosecuting Attorney, a full background check must be performed on every individual. This is in accordance to RCW 9.41.345 and may take 1-3 weeks for all results to come back. Background checks are completed in the order that they are received. You must schedule an appointment prior to coming to the Property & Evidence Unit to ensure you can pick up your firearm.
Q: My property was taken during the investigation of a crime, when can I expect to get the property back?
A: Property taken for investigation is returned to the owner when the investigating Detective or the Prosecuting Attorney authorizes release. Items secured for latent prints are normally returned as soon as possible if no prints were available for evidentiary purposes. Property of evidentiary value is secured in the property facility until such time as the case is closed and the prosecuting attorney and investigating detective determine the property is no longer needed. When property is cleared to be released, a letter will be sent to the owner(s) advising them of the proper procedures for receiving their item(s).
Q: I am unable to pick up my property; can someone else collect my property for me?
A: This depends on the nature of the incident and the reason the property was taken. In most cases, you may provide a notarized letter allowing another person to collect your property from the Property & Evidence Unit. The letter from you authorizing a proxy should include your case number, the name and date of birth of the person you are granting authority, your signature, and Notary stamp and signature.
Q: I found an item and wish to submit a claim of ownership, what should I do?
A: In accordance with the RCW 63.21.010, individuals may lay claim to found property. Instructions for this procedure may be found at the Washington State Legislature website. It is your responsibility to contact the Property & Evidence Unit at the end of the 60 day wait period, no notices will be sent.
Q: I’ve been notified that you have property of mine and I no longer want it. What should I do?
A: Send a letter to the Property & Evidence Unit stating that you no longer want the property and we will dispose of the items for you. If the item is sold at auction, however, you are not entitled to any of the proceeds.
Q: I just got out of jail and the Property & Evidence Unit doesn’t have my items. Where are they?
A: The City of Yakima Jail and the Yakima County Jail will hold smaller personal items of individuals at the time of booking. These items are stored at the Jail facility and are returned to the individual upon their release.
Q: Does YPD donate unclaimed bicycles to charitable organizations?
A: Yes. If your organization is not-for-profit and classified as a charity, send a letter to the Chief of Police requesting the donation. Please include documentation that your organization is a not-for-profit business and it is registered as a charity.
Q: Where do I sign up to be notified prior to a firearm being released to my family/household member?
A: In accordance with RCW 9.41.340 a request to be notified must be filled out in person and submitted at the Yakima Police Department Services Unit window. Be prepared to provide the associated case number and your contact information.