Recovered Property

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Forensic Services: Property Bureau

The Property Bureau is responsible for the safekeeping, storage and disposal of property recovered from arrestees, recovered as evidence in criminal investigations as well as other lost or abandoned items.

Public Operation Hours
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Weekends & Holidays Closed
Direct Phone Line 847-866-5029

Lost/Recovered Property

When lost property is recovered and turned into the police department, every reasonable attempt will be made to identify and return the property to its rightful owner. In many instances property is recovered but never reunited with its owner because there was never a report filed. If you have an item that you have lost or had stolen in Evanston, your first action should be to file a police report.

Even if you have not filed a report, you can still check with the Property Bureau during the Public Operating Hours to see if an item has been turned in. You can contact the Bureau at 847-866-5029.

New! You can now check our list of recently recovered property online. Our listing features items of lost, abandoned or mislaid property that have been turned in to, or recovered by, our department. This list is updated daily and allows you to easily contact us by email if you believe an item may be yours. Please remember that if you think an item is yours, you will be required to provide additional proof of ownership. Check Listings – Click Here

Arrestee Property

Arrestees that are being transferred to the county jail system may have property that will not be accepted by the county. In these cases, the property is inventoried and held by the Property Bureau. Arrestees are provided notice in writing of the property being held and have 30 days to claim their property. Arrestees may also designate someone to claim their property for them.

Property Pick-Up/Appointment Required

Individuals can pick up their property at the police department headquarters during the Public Operating Hours.

To make certain that the property is ready to be released, please call the Property Bureau first and schedule an appointment.

The Property Bureau will accommodate those who cannot make it to police headquarters during the Public Operating Hours. Special pick-up arrangements require an appointment and are scheduled at the discretion of the Property Bureau.

Required Identification/Proof of Ownership

Anyone coming to pick up property will be required to provide identification in the form of a government issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card, passport, etc.).

Depending on the nature of the property and the circumstances under which it was recovered, you may also need to provide proof of ownership. In order for us to return a firearm, the owner must hold a valid State of Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card.

Property Disposal

Unclaimed/unidentified property will be disposed of in accordance with state and local statutes and in most instances will not be held longer than six months after recovery. In some cases property will be disposed of sooner:

Arrestee Notified Prior to Transfer to County 30 Days
Identified Owner Notified by Phone or Mail 60 Days
Unidentified Owner 90 Days
Identified Owner / Unable to Locate or Notify 180 Days

Under unusual circumstances, property owners may make a written request for an extension of the holding period. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Fees for Storage

Illinois statutes allow police agencies to require reimbursement from property owners for reasonable expenses incurred storing their property. It is the practice of the Evanston Police Department to not require any reimbursement unless the item stored created an unusual storage expense.

Impounded vehicles will incur towing and daily storage fees as set by the towing and storage provider.

Property Auctions

All usable property that is being disposed will be transferred to a public internet auction service. Currently, the Evanston Police Department utilizes the services of to auction off all of our abandoned, stolen, or lawfully seized property of every kind and description that has remained unclaimed for 30 days or more. This is an ongoing auction available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Items being auctioned include electronics, jewelry, clothing, bicycles, tools, sporting equipment and more. The official web site is

City Ordinance on Lost/Stolen Property

The city ordinance regulating the disposition of lost or stolen property can be found under Title 9 / Chapter 7 of the Code of Ordinances.