How to Turn Found Property in to the Sheriff's Department and Get it Back

I find things, cash and junk.

When I find cash, it's typically in a little wad of folded bills in a store parking lot.

Some memorable examples of found junk are mysterious rolls of packing tape, Volkswagen hub caps and a box set of Frank Sinatra CDs.

In November I found an ipod nano. This was not junk.

It was sitting nearly under the tires of a truck in the Raley's parking lot on Folsom Blvd., wet from the rain.
I picked it up and took a look around. The screen was black and dead. A scraggly pair of headphones were plugged into the top.

I assumed it was a defunct ipod, picked it up and continued on my way. Ipods are known for being difficult to open, and I was looking forward to cracking my way into this tiny aluminum case. To my surprise, when I charged it up, it started working!

I don't need an ipod, and I thought it would be neat to get it back to the rightful owner, so I posted an ad on Craigslist. No takers. Next I contacted Apple Support, who let me know that they can share registration information with police departments, but not with me.

My next step was to bring it to the Sherrif's Department (10361 Rockingham Drive, Sacramento) and open a property case with them. I let them know that Apple would release the registration information to an officer, but that wasn't part of their process.

I turned it in and they let me know that if it was unclaimed, I could pick it back up after 90 days.

After a few months, I tried inquiring on it, but I was referred to the property warehouse. I didn't reach them, but they reached me, sending a postcard which outlined the steps to reclaim the ipod.

I would need to place a one-day ad in an area newspaper classified, specifying that I had found this thing, and referring would-be claimants to the police warehouse.

Luckily this type of ad is free, unless you use more than two lines to describe the item.


After that ad ran, I had to snag a copy, wait ten days, then bring three things to the Sheriff's property warehouse off of Old Placerville Road.

I had to bring:
1) photo ID
2) the postcard from the property warehouse
3) the dated newspaper page which carried my "found" ad.

There was actually a fairly tight window for me to reclaim the property. Immediately after recieving the postcard, I placed an ad in the Sacramento Bee Classified ads. It ran the next day (April 14th), and I had to wait 10 days after that to pick up the ipod (April 24th). However, the warehouse wouldn't keep it available forever. I had to act before May 6th, or it would be lost from me, I assume into the property of the County.


But you know I went on the very first day.

The propery warehouse is a non-descript building in an industrial area. It is pretty well fortified, presumably because they're holding giant bales of confiscated weed in the back.

An officer checked my documents and retrieved the property in about five minutes.


And that was it! The blue ipod was officially mine. I'm sorry "Elsie J.", I tried to get it back to you.

I'm sure ebay will help me find her a new home.

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