What should I do with found property?

BadgeIf you are the finder of money or goods valued at $250 or more, you may claim the property under ORS 98.005 if the original owner cannot be found. The Sheriff’s Office will not give legal advice on the requirements in the ORS; if you have questions, you will need to contact an attorney.  Please note:  vehicles cannot be claimed under the Finder’s Law, as they are individually titled.

If you have found an item or items believed to be valued at or more than $250.00, the Sheriff's Office strongly recommends that you contact our Dispatch Center at 541-682-4141 before you proceed with the legal requirements in ORS.  Our office may elect to retain firearms and items with significant value to both protect you and to assist with locating the rightful owner.   If you intend to later claim property, you must advise the deputy of that at the time you make your report.  Filing a police report does not relieve you of your obligations under the Finder’s Law.  You will still be responsible for following the requirements of that law within the prescribed timelines if you intend to assert a legal claim for the property.

If you find property valued at $250 or more and you don’t wish to claim it, you should call our office to arrange to turn it over for disposal under our processes.  At the time you turn in the item, you may be asked to sign a document waiving future rights to the property.

The Sheriff’s Office has its own legal procedures that must be followed when we hold found property.  If an owner is located after initiating those procedures, you will be notified.  If an owner is not located and no claims are made concerning the property, then it will become your legal property once you have completed all required steps under the Finder’s Law AND the Sheriff’s Office has completed ours requirements.  If you later contact us to claim the property, you will be required to provide documentation that you fulfilled your obligations under the Finder’s Law.

If you’re inquiring about claiming or picking up property that is currently in our custody and is related to a Sheriff's Office case, you may call the Sheriff's Office Property/Evidence Unit at 541-682-4332.  This line may be answered between 0830-1600 weekdays – if the Property Technician is busy, you will reach a recording.  You will also reach voice mail outside of the listed hours.  If you reach our voice mail, please leave your name, callback number, a good time to reach you, and a case number.  If you don’t have the case number, please leave information about why you’re calling (who was arrested, what and where an incident happened, why you think we may have property, etc.).  You will generally receive a callback within 24-48 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays.

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