effective investigation and prosecution of a criminal offender relies
heavily on the careful, methodical and proper use of evidence. It
is the responsibility of the Property and Evidence Division to maintain
not only the integrity of each item of evidence but the integrity
of its Chain of Custody as well. The careful safeguards in place
ensure all property coming into their possession is processed in
accordance with state laws, city ordinances and departmental policies
and procedures, to ensure the items value later in court.
All property and evidence items
submitted are entered into a computer database and case research
is done so final disposition of property and evidence items can
be determined. The unit works closely with several other county
agencies such as the Medical Examiner's Office and the Florida Department
of Law Enforcement Crime Lab, where evidence items are sometimes
transferred for further testing/analysis. The unit also works with
the State Attorney's Office to testify or give depositions when
Property that is classified on
your property receipt as "Found" or "Safekeeping"
(with the exception of firearms) may be claimed by appointment at
the Winter Park Police Department during the hours of 0800am to
3pm. Monday thru Friday.
If you're listed as the owner on the property receipt, present the
receipt with the case number on it and a valid photo ID. If you
are not listed as the owner, you must present proof of ownership,
(for example, a bill of sale from the store where you purchased
the item or a notarized bill of sale if the item was purchased from
a private individual). You can use our online Found Property Listing to view what found items have been turned in.
Click here to view current items
that you've turned in:
With the exception of firearms and contraband, found property must
be held by the Evidence Unit for 90 days. If you wish to claim the
property after that time (presuming the true owner has not already
claimed it), you will be contacted by the WPPD Property and Evidence
Unit with further instructions.
Property (excluding firearms):
If you are listed on the receipt as the owner, present the receipt
and a valid photo ID. If you're not listed as the owner, contact
the Winter Park Police Officer who issued the receipt. He or she
must authorize, in writing, the release of the property to you.
A valid photo ID will be required when you pick up the property.
Per Florida statute 925.11, if the suspect in the case is found
guilty by jury, the property must be held for four years after sentencing,
regardless of who owns the property. If the suspect pled in court
or charges were dropped, property can be released with written authorization
from the detective or officer responsible for the case. A certified
copy of a court order can also release the property.
The release of firearms is governed
by how the weapon is classified: Evidence, Safekeeping or Court
Ordered Domestic Injunction. If you're uncertain as to the classification
assigned to your property, check with the detective or officer who
is handling the case. Firearms are disposed of under a separate
statute, F.S.S. 790 therefore NO finders claim may be made on found
Release of a Firearm:
Before the return of any firearm the following must be completed:
- Person claiming a firearm are
subject to a background check to ensure they are not a convicted
felon, are not wanted, or have an outstanding domestic violence
- A check of Winter Park Police
Department records must be completed to determine the background
information on the case. If there is any question about the adjudication
of a charge(s), the weapon will not be released until the issue
- The officer or detective who
seized the weapon must authorize the release.
Ammunition is not returned due to
safety concerns, unless a court order specifies otherwise.
Evidence firearms will not be returned without instructions from
the State Attorney’s Office or a Court Order, unless the case
was “Nol Prosse” or results in a judgment of acquittal.
Proper photo identification must be presented and pursuant F.S.S.
790.08, the charges in the case must be concluded.
Firearms on non-evidentiary nature (safekeeping, death investigations,
suicidal incidents, etc.) shall not be released without direction
from the designated case agent or their supervisor.
subject to Court Ordered Domestic Injunctions:
Release requires a certified copy of the court order lifting the
injunction prepared by the judge who issued the injunction. There
are no exceptions.
& Evidence Section FAQ's
the Evidence Unit's operating hours?
We're open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
We're located at 500 N. Virginia Avenue, Winter Park FL 32789 and
can be reached by phone at (407) 599-3322.
notified that you have property of mine and I no longer want it.
What should I do?
Just send us a letter 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.
Can I claim something that
I found and turned in to WPPD?
Yes, providing that certain conditions are met. Check our Claiming
Your Property section above for information on these conditions.
How can I claim my firearm
you are storing?
The return of firearms requires special documentation. Check the
Claiming Your Property section above for details.
Does WPPD donate unclaimed
bicycles to charitable organizations?
Yes. If your organization is not-for-profit and classified as a
charity, send a letter to the Property and Evidence Unit requesting
the donation and we'll get in touch with your representative.
Do I need an appointment
to pick up property?
Yes, appointments are arranged Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Calling ahead to 407-599-3322 is done to ensure that someone is available to you, and that your property is ready for release. Please have your case number available.
Do I need to bring identification?
Yes, you will need to bring a valid picture identification with
your correct address.
Can someone other then myself
pick up my property for me?
Yes, you may assign another person
to retrieve your property with a notarized letter of authorization
and photo identification. The letter must be addressed to the Winter
Park Police Department and include your case number, the name of
the person you are granting authority, your signature, and Notary
stamp and signature.
Can I get my property back
if I am a minor?
Property will only be released to
a parent or guardian, who must show legal guardianship proof.
How long is Property held?
Different types of property are held
for different lengths of time. For instance, Found Property is held
for a period of 90 days unless it is claimed by the owner. Evidence
items are held until such time as they are no longer needed for
trial or the statute of limitations expires. Statute of limitations
may vary depending on the seriousness of the crime. Additionally,
some items can be released pursuant to a court order or authorization
from the State Attorneys Office.
What happens to unclaimed
Property which remains unclaimed by a legal owner will be disposed
of by destruction, conversion to City property, donation to charity,
public auction, or returned to the finder if a claim was made when
the property was recovered.
Still have a question?
Any questions not answered here you are more then welcome to contact Edward Bigley, Property and Evidence Control Specialist at 407-599-3322 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.