Property & Evidence

Property & Evidence

The Portsmouth Police Department processes thousands of pieces of property annually and consists of evidence in criminal cases, found property, and property held for safekeeping. Many times property can be released to its owner once criminal cases are concluded or if the found property has an identified owner.

Return of Property

Property will be returned by scheduled appointment only, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m; exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. Please schedule appointments by either e-mail or phone.

You will need to provide the following information:

- Your name and date of birth
- The case number or property number
- Description of the property you want released
- A phone number where you can be contacted

** At the time of the return you must have a valid identification.

Personal Property

If you are a suspect in a crime and property was seized pursuant to a search warrant, you will need a court order stating the specific property in question can be returned to you. If you want the property to be released to another person, the court order must name that person. Information regarding obtaining court orders can be found by contacting the court of jurisdiction. See Quick Links.

If you are a victim of a crime and your property was recovered, all aspects of the case must be complete within the court system before the property will be returned. If the property was seized pursuant to a search warrant, you will need a court order stating the specific property in question can be returned.


If your firearms were seized through a Protective Order; are evidence of a criminal offense; or were turned over for safe keeping, the following will be needed prior to return:

  1. An order from the court of jurisdiction stating the firearms can be returned to you
  2. If you are not allowed to possess a firearm, the court order must state to whom the firearm may be released to

Found Property

If an owner of found property is not identified, the finder will be eligible to claim such property. Property with a value of under $250 may be claimed by the finder after 90 days. If the property has a value greater than $250, it may be claimed by the finder after 180 days. Firearms or other types of weapons will not be returned to the finder if an owner is not identified.

Periodically, items that no longer have evidentiary value, have no owners, or are found property, which is not claimed by the finder, are assigned to be auctioned. The department utilizes an on-line auction service, PropertyRoom.Com, to accomplish this. Please visit their website for additional information regarding property which is being auctioned.