Lost and Found Property

Listing of found property:

(All items are listed with a broad description. In order to claim an item as the rightful owner, proof of purchase and/or an accurate identification, serial number, or description would be required for item release.)

  • Laptop Computer 
  • Handgun Magazine
  • Cellular Phone (Blue)
  • Cellular Phone (Red/Black)
  • Cellular Phone (Blue)
  • Cellular Phone
  • Cellular Phone
  • Cellular Phone (Blue)
  • Handgun: Revolver
  • Cellular Phone (White)
  • Safe Door
  • Cellular Phone
  • Lanyard with Key
  • Wireless Earbuds
  • Keychain with 2 Keys
  • Women's Jewelry: Bracelet (Broken)
  • Men's Jewelry: Ring
  • Cellular Phone (Black)
  • Brown Backpack with Contents
  • Bookbag with Contents
  • Backpack with Contents
  • Misc./Assorted Personal Items
  • Banking Document
  • Purse (Beige/Brown)
  • Backpack with Contents
  • Cellular Phones (x2)
  • Wireless Earbuds
  • Mask
  • Box
  • Bag
  • Cellular Phone
  • Pillowcase with Clothing
  • Purse
  • Backpack with Contents
  • Laptop Computer

Updated 11/2/2023.

Claiming your property

Property that is classified as “found” or held as “safekeeping” (with the exception of firearms) may be claimed by appointment between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Found Property

Items turned in to our agency as Found Property are maintained for 30 days. All unclaimed property after that time period is set for disposal. Call this office if you are missing an item. We will search the inventory and let you know if we have an item that matches the description. If we do not, we will keep your information for a reasonable amount of time and call you if that item turns up in our inventory. It is important to provide us with proof of ownership for certain items. These instances will be evaluated on an individual case basis.

Safekeeping Property (excluding firearms)

Items held for safekeeping must be retrieved within 60 days or will be eligible for destruction after this time period. If you are listed on the property sheet as the owner, you must bring the safekeeping property sheet and a photo ID. If you are not listed as the owner, you must contact the Officer who completed the safekeeping property sheet. He/She must authorize, in writing, the property to you. A valid ID will be required to pick up the property.

Evidence Property

Per FSS 925.11, if a jury finds the suspect of a case guilty, the property must be held for four years after sentencing, regardless of who owns the property. If the suspect pled in court or charges were dropped, or if the case is closed with no further investigation possible, the property can be released with written authorization from the detective or officer assigned to the case. A certified copy of a court order can also release property. Certain items cannot be returned once they have been impounded by our agency. Vehicle tags and suspended driver's licenses are two of the most common items in this category. If either has been seized, you must contact the Tax Collector's Office to find out how to obtain a new one.

Claiming firearms

The release of firearms is governed by how the weapon is classified: Evidence, safekeeping, or Court Order (domestic injunction). If you are uncertain about the classification assigned to your property, check with the detective or officer handling the case. Firearms are disposed of under a separate statute (FSS 790). Release of a firearm: Before the release of any firearm, the following must be completed.

  1. The person claiming the firearm is subject to a background check to ensure they are not a convicted felon, is not wanted, or has an outstanding domestic violence injunction.
  2. A check of the Tavares Police Department records must be completed to determine the background information on the case. If there are any discrepancies or questions about any information located, the weapon will not be released until the issue is resolved.
  3. The officer or detective who seized the weapon must authorize the release.


Evidence Firearms

Firearms taken as evidence will not be returned without instructions from the State Attorney’s Office or by Court Order unless the case was Non-Pros or there is a final judgment of acquittal. Proper ID must be presented. According to FSS 790.08, the charges must be concluded.

Safekeeping Firearms

Firearms that are not evidence (i.e.: Safekeeping, death investigation, suicide, found property, etc.), shall not be released without authorization from the officer/detective or their supervisor.

Firearms subject to court-ordered domestic injunctions

Release requires a court-certified copy of the order lifting the injunction prepared by the judge who issued the injunction. There are no exceptions.


Q. What are the operating hours of the Evidence Section?
A. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00-3:00. The Tavares Police Department is located at 911 Gateway Drive, Tavares, FL 32778. The office number is 352-742-6200

Q. Do I need an appointment to pick up the property?
A. Yes, appointments are generally arranged Monday through Friday (9 a.m.-3 p.m.), but other arrangements can be made for off-hour pick-up. Calling ahead (352-742-6200) ensures that your property is ready and someone is available to return it. If you were issued a case number, please have that available.

Q. Do I need to bring identification?
A. Yes, you will need a valid picture ID.

Q. Can someone other than myself pick up the property for me?
A. Yes, you may authorize another person to pick up your property with a notarized letter of authorization. The letter must include our department name, the case number issued to you, the name of the person you are granting authorization to, your name (both printed and signed), the date, and a stamp and signature of a Notary.

Q. Can I get my property back if I am a minor?
A. No, your property will only be released to a parent or guardian (who must show legal proof of guardianship).

Q. How long is the property held?
A. Different property is held for different amounts of time: Evidence is held until such a time as they are no longer needed for trial or the statute of limitations expires. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the crime/incident type. Some items, however, can be released per court order or authorization from the State Attorney’s Office or, in some cases, the case officers’ authorization. Found Property is held for at least 30 days unless it is claimed by the owner. After 30 days, the property is disposed of accordingly.

Q. What happens to unclaimed property?
A. Property (including bicycles) that remains unclaimed by the legal owner will be disposed of by destruction, conversion to department property, or public auction. http://www.propertyroom.com/

More questions? 

Contact the Evidence Section or Records Department:
                         Jessica Holcomb                   or             Michelle Taylor          
                    Crime Scene Investigator                           Staff Assistant

                           (352) 742-6445                                    (352) 742-6200

             Email:jholcomb@tavares.org                       mtaylor@tavares.org

Tavares Police Department
911 Gateway Drive
Tavares, Florida 32778