Property/Evidence stores evidence, seized property, safekeeping, and found property for the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office. The Evidence Specialist is responsible for securing property/evidence and ensuring proper chain of custody. In addition, they are responsible for disposing of narcotics, illegal, unclaimed, or unwanted property, and endeavors to return property to the rightful owner(s). Disposal methods include incineration, destruction, and auction.

Property Auctions

Unclaimed  or forfeited property is sent to auction throughout the year to CTM Unlimited Auctions.

Appointment Policy

Appointments are required for all property releases. You can call and make an appointment once you have received a 60-day Notice to Claim Property in the mail. Per RCW 63.40.010, property will be held for 60 days from written notice and then disposed of if left unclaimed.

Picture ID is required at the time of release. If you are unable to appear in person, you may fill out the bottom portion of the 60-day Notice to Claim Property, assigning a person to receive the property. It is required that is portion be notarized. Firearms cannot be released to a third party.

Firearms Release Policy

To release a firearm, several background checks need to be performed before the 60-day Notice to Claim Property will be sent to the owner.

These checks can take several weeks and include:

  • Firearms Check (is the weapon stolen or the owner unknown)
  • State Mental Health Check (for the owner)
  • Criminal History Check (for the owner)

Note: Background checks are required for the release of any firearms. This is required even if you possess a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).

If the owner is ineligible to possess firearms,  they will be notified by mail and a Release of Firearms Ownership form will be sent to transfer ownership to another party.