Reclaiming Property/ Lost and Found

For the return/ release of any property, an appointment must be scheduled with Evidence Control Personnel. If an item was seized pursuant to an investigation, the officer assigned to the case must authorize the item(s) to be released or court order must be obtained authorizing the release of the item(s). The department requires individuals who come to claim property to bring the necessary paperwork in order for the items to be released.  When a case is disposed of and a person comes to claim said property, they must have one of the documents listed below:

  • Court Order This is required for the return of currency*, weapons, a vehicle, or any personal property of the defendant. The order must state that the property is to be returned to the defendant and not just that the case has been disposed of in court. This may come from the clerk's office if a judgment was made during the court proceedings or from the district attorney's office, both of which are in the main courthouse on Elm Street in Graham. A photo ID of the person claiming the property is required.
  • Letter of Testamentary/ Executor of the Estate documents - This paperwork is necessary for the release of property to a family member in the event of a victim’s death from a crime, natural causes, or suicide. This paperwork can be acquired at the estates' office at the courthouse in Court Square, Graham. A photo ID of the person claiming the property is required.
  • *An order from the Clerk Of Court is needed to turn seized currency over for cost and fines. * The Burlington Police Department’s Identification Division will turn the currency over to the Clerk of Court. If there is a balance that is to be returned to the defendant, the Clerk’s Office will send the defendant the balance in the form of a check once the costs and fines are paid out of the seized funds. *In the case of currency that has been deposited into the City of Burlington Evidence Account, the order stating the currency is to be returned to the owner must be received in Finance no later than noon on Wednesday to have the check cut by the Finance Department on Thursday. If the documentation is not received by Wednesday at noon, the check will be cut the following Thursday. In addition to the court order, the owner is also required to show valid identification and provide a social security number per the Finance Department requirements. The owner will be contacted when the check is received from the Finance Department, or if requested, the check can be mailed to the owner.

Lost and Found Property:

Property turned in as found to the department is held for 180 days from the time of submission. If the property is not claimed by the owner, the finder can then claim the property. The finder is required to sign a waiver prior to the release of any property. 

  • Found bicycles are held for sixty (60) days, then advertised for thirty (30) days prior to releasing them to the finder.
  • Any contraband turned in is destroyed.