Evidence Control Unit

The ECU is staffed by civilian employees. Evidence personnel are responsible for all evidence collected by the officers. They maintain the evidence in a secure area until it is needed for court. When the evidence is no longer needed, a court order is obtained, then they dispose of the evidence. They will, also, assist with special assignments, such as highway interdiction and drug roundups. For more information, contact Mark McMullan.

Crime Scene Investigations:

We have two crime scene investigators. These individuals have been specially trained to analyze and investigate crime scenes for evidence. They can be called to a crime scene to take photos, collect evidence, and process the scene for possible DNA. 

Claiming Property:

The Burlington Police Department releases property by appointment during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is best to have an established appointment when retrieving property. This will ensure the necessary preparatory work is completed as much as possible before the owner's arrival.

To make an appointment with Evidence Control Unit, please call 336-229-3524 ext. 3534 or 336-513-5497 ext.5449

The owner should bring proof of ownership and/or photo identification to:
267 West Front Street
Burlington, NC 27215

If an item was seized pursuant to an investigation, the officer assigned to the case must authorize the item(s) to be released or court order must be obtained authorizing the release of the item(s). When a case is disposed of and a person comes to claim said property, they must have one of the documents listed below:

  • Court Order - This is required for the return of currency*, weapons, a vehicle, or any personal property of the defendant. The order must state that the property is to be returned to the defendant and not just that the case has been disposed of in court. This may come from the clerk's office if a judgment was made during the court proceedings or from the district attorney's office, both of which are in the main courthouse on Elm Street in Graham. A photo ID of the person claiming the property is required.
  • Letter of Testamentary/ Executor of the Estate documents - This paperwork is necessary for the release of property to a family member in the event of a victim’s death from a crime, natural causes, or suicide. This paperwork can be acquired at the estates' office at the courthouse in Court Square, Graham. A photo ID of the person claiming the property is required.

*An order from the Clerk Of Court is needed to turn seized currency over for cost and fines.

* The Burlington Police Department’s Identification Division will turn the currency over to the Clerk of Court. If there is a balance that is to be returned to the defendant, the Clerk’s Office will send the defendant the balance in the form of a check once the costs and fines are paid out of the seized funds. 

*In the case of currency that has been deposited into the City of Burlington Evidence Account, the order stating the currency is to be returned to the owner must be received in Finance no later than noon on Wednesday to have the check cut by the Finance Department on Thursday. If the documentation is not received by Wednesday at noon, the check will be cut the following Thursday. In addition to the court order, the owner is also required to show valid identification and provide a social security number per the Finance Department's requirements. The owner will be contacted when the check is received from the Finance Department, or if requested, the check can be mailed to the owner.

Firearm Release:

Firearms that are eligible to be released to the rightful owner are done so only after the federally mandated background check is completed. This requires the owner to complete a Firearm Application (PDF).  One application must be completed per firearm.

Firearm Ownership Regulations

  • Federal Law prohibits citizens from owning a firearm if any of the following apply:
  • Has been convicted of, or is under indictment for, a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance including marijuana
  • Is underage
  • Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution
  • Is unlawfully in the United States or has been admitted to the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa
  • Has been dishonorably discharged from the military
  • Has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship
  • Is subject to a court order restraining him or her from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner, his or her child or a child of a partner or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence

Claiming Your Property The owner should call 336-229-3524 ext. 3534 or 336-513-5497 ext. 5449 to schedule an appointment with Evidence Control Unit to claim their property. The owner will need to provide a completed Firearm Application (PDF) and proper photo identification. Once the background check is completed and the standards to release are met, an Evidence Technician will contact the owner for pick-up. 

Property can be retrieved at:
Burlington Police Department
267 West Front Street
Burlington, NC 27215

 The hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

Lost and Found Property:

Property turned in as found to the department is held for 180 days from the time of submission. If the property is not claimed by the owner, the finder can then claim the property. The finder is required to sign a waiver prior to the release of any property. 

  • Found bicycles are held for sixty (60) days, then advertised for thirty (30) days prior to releasing them to the finder.
  • Any contraband turned in is destroyed.