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Evidence Unit

The Evidence/Property Unit is located at the Columbia Police Department Annex Building at 715 Bluff Road, Columbia, SC 29201. Our hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The public may pick up their property: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday by appointment only.  To retrieve your property, you must have a non-expired state valid driver’s license, stated issued identification, valid passport, and/or valid military identification. Evidence/Property Unit contact number is 803-545-3630.  Before any property or weapons can be returned, they must be signed off by the arresting officer and/or arresting investigator.

The Evidence/Property Unit, an element of the Administrative Bureau, has the overall mission to accept, catalog, safeguard, store, produce as required, return to legal owner or otherwise legally dispose of all property coming into the custody of the Columbia Police Department. The Unit handles the majority of the property required for criminal cases. However, other categories of property include the safekeeping of found property, decedent’s property, seized contraband, seized peddler’s property, serological evidence, as well as property confiscated for forfeiture proceedings.

Items received by this section include money, narcotics, jewelry, firearms, various other weapons, various general property, and bicycles. The incoming property is classified according to the nature of the acquisition, in other words; as evidence, as found property, or as personal, confiscated property. Furthermore, items are categorized according to specific types (property, firearms, narcotics, and bicycles) and are subject to strict legal and processing constraints. Evidence is regularly signed out for presentation in criminal court proceedings. In some cases, evidence property may be retained by the Unit for several decades, as criminal cases and potential appeals may surface at any time in the future. Property that can be legally returned to its rightful owner (or the owner’s representative) is processed in a timely manner, but only during the stated above days and times. Narcotics, illegal firearms and seized contraband are destroyed when it is no longer required for legal proceedings. Unclaimed general property is disposed by auction and/or destroyed by law.

Property that can be returned to owners, the Evidence/Property Unit will send a letter to the owner, with the address that is on the Police Report.  The owner has 60 days from date of letter to retrieve said property; if the owner does not retrieve the property in 60 days, the property will be destroyed.  If the owner, does not have an address, the property will be destroyed in 90 days.

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