Las Vegas police Evidence Vault has 1 million unclaimed items

Metro has many warehouses around the city that house recovered property

March 18, 2017

Burglars stole your stuff. The police recovered it. What comes next?

Enter the reason for the Evidence Vault, which isn't really a vault at all, as attendees learned at a recent First Tuesday seminar. On hand for the February talk at Northwest Area Command, 9850 W. Cheyenne Ave., were Anita Saucedo and Aimee Mendoza, both longtime evidence technicians with the Metropolitan Police Department. They and the roughly two dozen other Metro employees with the Evidence Vault are tasked with picking up evidence, bar-coding it, entering it in the computer and storing it in a warehouse.

IT'S ACTUALLY A WAREHOUSE

Metro has many warehouses around the city that house recovered property. North Las Vegas and Henderson have their own evidence vaults that operate much the same way.

Metro alerts people if their property is recovered. To retrieve it, people must prove their identity. If the property is evidence in a case, the matter must be resolved in court before the items can be released.

PROVE IT

No matter the situation, Metro requires the event number, which is provided when one fills out a police report, before one can retrieve items.

"We have over a million items in our inventory, so it's not like we can look it up by your name," Saucedo said.

Metro frequently recovers firearms, which go through a lengthy process.

"If it's evidence or recovered stolen property … we have to make sure the firearms that we're giving back to people, we have to make sure those people are allowed to have them, so no warrants, no convictions that would make it (illegal) for them to have a firearm," Saucedo said.

If the proper owner cannot be found, the gun "goes into a machine and gets chewed up," said Capt. Richard Fletcher.

FAQS

Frequently asked questions include, "Can I come down and look for my property on your shelves?" No.

"And there's a misconception that we can find your property by description. People go, 'It's a blue bicycle.' Well, we have about a thousand of those," Mendoza said.

The best way to get your items back is to keep track of them before they're stolen, Metro said. Mark down the serial numbers. Note the make and model. Take a photo if an item, such as jewelry or a watch, is hard to describe.

YOU HAVE 90 DAYS

People have 90 days to pick up their recovered items. If an item is unclaimed by the owner, someone else can buy it via propertyroom.com. The site was started by a former law enforcement officer and includes unclaimed items from police agencies nationwide.

"It's kind of an eBay format," Saucedo said. "Some really great stuff goes on there."

A portion of the money from sales through propertyroom.com goes into Clark County's general fund. Metro employees are prohibited from buying unclaimed items.

Kathy Cassell, crime-prevention specialist, handed out forms for homeowners to list their items. Residents also can go to Metro's site and click "crime prevention documents," she said. Another option? Go to reportit.com, where one can upload pictures of your items should detectives need to search pawnshops for your possessions.

"We all have Grandma's ring or brooch. You have to take a picture of that," Fletcher said. "You can show us those photos for when we go to the pawn shops or start cruising eBay or Craigslist. It breaks my heart when somebody says, 'It was passed down from generations' and I have to say, 'Well, guess what? It's probably melted down by now.'"

To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email or call 702-387-2949.

Rate this blog entry:
Trial date Monday for retired Springfield Police D...
Police: Pungent pot grower to be charged with felo...

Related Posts

Blotter - Latest News

News By Region

Keywords

stole evidence theft conviction stealing funs show untested sexual assault evidence trooper sentenced week stolen ammunition trooper arrested stealing pistols snakes work tampered drugs stored evidence Signed Out Evidence steal evidnece West Coast Transient property sheriff arrested stolen gun stealing drug technician arrested unit untested rape kit stealing evidence stolen jewelry stealing cocaine undersheriff stealing gungs stolne guns statute of limitations stealing heroin stolen drug from evidence untestted sexual assault kits threw away evidence storage bunker Suicide stolen cocaine Thursday.Charles Holifield tampering with public record Stolen pills tampered envelopes Trial at Riak tampered evidence Untested Sexual Kits Wrongful conviction stealing money steal money United Kingdom untested rape kits stealing guns unaccouted guns towing scandal stealing drugs stealing narcotics storage practices temporary locker Year sting operation years of neglect skunky aroma wafted state prison Untested rape kit unscientific protocols stolen methamphetamine Storage untested evidence kits UNTESTED RAPE KITS sexual assault kits Washington State Patrol crime lab unwanted medications sheriff tampering with evidence stolen drugs Sexual assault Survivors Bill of Rights sexual assault evidence kits stealing cash shelves state government stored as evidence took heroin stolen cash tapes edited stealing bills Tulare Police stolen OxyContin state Division wrongly convicted STEALING DRUG MONEY steal drugs trooper accused theft of drugs Vancouver BC stolen gons woochy poochy theft of evidence unsolved murder South Dakota Highway Patrolman Williams stolen marijuana untested sexual kit Thursday unaccounted drugs wrongful conviction trial stealing drug evidence sheriffs department untest rape kit Sheriff pleads guilty stolen evidence sexual assault task force tape State trooper accused stolen guns valuable stones theft of money untestes rape kits State/Province State Agency Evidence Jobs Via URL Browse Media Upload Standards state chips tampering with police records sloppy evidence control strange evidence STOLEN CASH testing guns St Wrongful Conviction side door sexual assault kit Untested rape kits withholding evidence taking heroin Wattier sheriffs employee gets jail taking marijuana Wichita Police Department vault of contraband stolen cannabis Untest rape kits thieving evidence room cop Theft Ventura County sheriff stolen money urn Sheriff Arrested with holding evidence Texas Forensic Science Commission Sexual assault kit stolen meth

Search IAPE

  • All
  • Best Practices
  • DEA
  • Drugs
  • NIOSH
  • Default
  • Title