May 2013
Welcome IAPE Newsletter Reader



The International Association for Property and Evidence, Inc. wants to remind all of our members that the most comprehensive document about the long term storage and retention of BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE is now available.
Bio Book

Police front

Dear Joe,

I have several questions that are related to recovered property releases and insurance company claims.



The first question has to do with releasing recovered property items back to the owner. When an item is booked into our evidence room, the item is considered "evidence"  in the case and cannot be released to the owner unless authorized by the prosecuting attorney per our policy. Sometimes the items are reported stolen one day and located the very next day. Sometimes, the items that were stolen and are now considered "recovered property" and do not make it into evidence, and are released directly to the owner of the property via our Detectives with no evidence paperwork. Do you see any issues with this practice?

Dear, Directly To Owner  

Many departments do exactly the same and call it "Recovered", as you do. My thoughts before we get started. If you have property that report as stolen, then recovered isn't it really evidence? Food for thought.


The best practice is to always have the owner or person taking possession of the property to sign a property receipt, that they did receive the property in question. Always consider taking a photograph of any property when the transaction is not conducted at the station. 


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a recovered item is released with a signature, and a warrant is issued for the suspect, and who is arrested 7 years later.  At this time it's possible that no one involved in the case can remember releasing the item as the officer or detective may have retired and there is no  good paper trail. There is no way to factually show the Chain of Custody when its released with paperwork or direct testimony. Testimony is subject to question without a question, especially if department police is not followed to the letter. 


What if owner comes back in five years and says he didn't get his or her property and there is no paperwork? What proof is there that it was returned? Could the detective say he returned the property and keep it? What protects the officer/detective from allegations of theft?   


Something else, should I be concerned? We sometimes get a "verbal authorization" from the prosecuting attorney that authorizes the release.



  Yes, be concerned! Anytime verbal authorization for release or destruction is provided, there is the possibility that someone may challenge why it was released, and the person who verbally approved the release may renege on their consent. Always protect yourself and the department - get it in writing; and yes, an email is fine!  



I was wondering how other agencies deal with receiving letters from insurance agencies stating they have paid a claim on a case where items were stolen. The letter will list the items that the owners were compensated for and the claim was paid. The insurance company also asks to be notified if any of the property is located in the future since the insurance company is now the legal owner of the property.


My concern and questions is, we have had people request items (stolen/recovered) be returned and fail to mention they have filed an insurance claim. The insurance letter arrives after the items have been released. Is this something that our office could be held liable for and/or is there a better way to handle the insurance claim letters than we are now?



Dear, Directly To Owner  

I might suggest that any time you release property to anyone, that you have them sign a Perjury Statement that they are the rightful owner (See Exhibit Below). I personally don't see any liability for the department if the letter arrives after the release. If the owner is trying to scam the system, he/she may think twice when you have them sign the Perjury Statement. You could also have them sign on the same form that they have not been compensated for any of the items being returned.


Property Release Form - Perjury Statement 

Perjury Statement

Hope this give you some guidance 



Joe Latta  

Executive Director


BOLO Be On The Look Out
 Cost $99 For Members 
$129 For Non Members 
Available:  Monday June 3, 2013 


All New for 2013 




Class Schedule

In 2012 over 1/2 the classes were sold out    

Fort Collins, CO (Just Posted) 
December , 2013
(sold out in 2012 - Don't wait! 
St. Louis, MO 
May 29 - 30, 2013
(Sold Out - Call for wait list) 

Winter Haven, FL
June 4 - 5, 2013
(2 Seats left)

Jonesboro, AR  
June 12 - 13, 2013 
(10 seats left)

Harris Co, TX  
June 25 - 26, 2013 
(3 seats left)

So. Burlington, VT 
July 9 - 10, 2013 
(10 seats left)

Birmingham, AL 
July 23 - 24, 2013
(5 seats left)

Moline, IL
August 7 - 8, 2013 
(5 seats left)

So. San Fran, CA
August 13 - 14, 2013
(25 seats left)

Riverside, MO
August 27 - 28, 2013
(7 seats left)
Albuquerque, NM 
September 10 - 11, 2013

Warren, OH 
September 23 - 24, 2013

Harrisburg, PA
September 26 - 27, 2013

Minneapolis, MN
October 1 - 2, 2013
Corrected Date 

Sandy, UT
October 16 - 17, 2013

Gwinnett Co,  GA
October 29 - 30, 2013

Portland, OR
November 5 - 6, 2013

Harvey, LA (New Orleans) 
November 19 - 20, 2013

Burbank, CA
December 3 - 4, 2013

Fort Collins, CO (Just Posted) 
December , 2013
(sold out in 2012 - Don't wait! 
Call for details on sponsoring a class! 
  Where in the World

Is Joe Today?







Past Issues 

Now Available


Online 1993 - 2009      


   Got a Job?    
Need a Job?

IAPE is delighted to announce that we have a new job site for posting a job announcement or checking possible job opportunities.

Available Job Opportunities


Post Your Job  

There are Two Ways to 
Take the IAPE Training Class! 

We have noticed many of our classes filling up quickly. If you cannot sign up for the class you want, or a class is not near your city, you can now take the
Online Video Class.
To Learn more about 

 bad box May Photo of the Month BAD!

Spokane Box
May Photo of the Month -

IAPE continues its relationships with valuable and unique resources for our profession. Each month we will introduce you to companies who offer products and services to improve evidence handling, processes and best practices.    




Tiffin Metal Products is one of North America's largest manufacturers of Evidence and Wardrobe Lockers. With the introduction of the Airflow Wardrobe Lockers in 2002, Tiffin Metal Products created a durable locker that provides adequate storage space as well as helping to dry body armor. This new personal locker system helps to increase the life of garments and to remove odors by venting them outside.

Tiffin is also a supplier of Sidearm/Pistol lockers, evidence lockers, refrigerated lockers, duty bag lockers, coin-operated lockers and mobile storage systems. All law enforcement products sold by the company are branded with the "Sentinel" trademark Go to the Sentinel Locker wTIFFIN LOCKERSeb site to find a complete array of storage products offered by Tiffin Metal Products.
You can also email Andy Duffy for more information  Andy Duffy.      


Visit our website Tiffin Metals and see our locker products. 






Join Our Mailing List