Riverside Police Department

Central Investigations Bureau


Property Crimes Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on a question for an answer:

  • My car (house) was broken into and my wallet was stolen. I just got a call from my credit card company and the guy who broke into my car is now using my credit card/checks. There's a video at the store showing the suspect. Can you go get him?

    The break in and the illegal use of your credit card are two different crimes. Although it may be the same suspect, proving this is very difficult as stolen property is commonly sold to someone else or traded away for contraband. When the person uses your stolen credit card/check, the business accepting the check and the bank that supplied the credit card/check become the victims of this separate crime. Although you feel violated that someone is using your account, you should not be held liable for services or goods that you did not purchase. When you file your initial crime report with the Riverside Police Department it is important that the Initial Report number provided by the police department be documented so that you can tell your bank/credit card company the number for their records.

    It is important to protect your identity when items containing your name and personal information are lost or stolen. The Office of the Attorney General provides a comprehensive list of things to do to protect yourself from identity theft and this information is available on line at Videos provide valuable evidence but the inherent problem is even if the video quality is excellent, the suspect on the video needs to be identified. Once the suspect has been named, then detectives can utilize the video evidence to proceed with prosecution. All video evidence should be collected by the Police Department.

    It is also important to know that the Riverside Police Department, General Investigations Bureau, has two separate units that handle property crimes and economic crimes. The Property Crimes Units would handle the break in when your purse or wallet was stolen. The Economic Crimes Unit handles Forgery, Fraud and Identity Theft. Both investigative teams can be contacted at (951)320-8000. Be sure to have your Riverside Police Department report number handy so your call can be routed to the proper detective. If you have questions about your break in, ask for the Property Crimes Unit and if you have questions about credit card, check or identity theft issues, ask for the Economic Crimes Unit.

  • What happens to the latent prints after the officers recover them from crime scenes?

    The latent print cards are submitted to the evidence property room at the Lincoln St. station. The latent print cards are gathered then transported to the department's fingerprint examiner. The examiner closely examines each print card to determine their worth as evidence. There are four levels of quality:

    • The first is sufficient quality for a Cal-Id automated fingerprint identification search (AFIS), which means the print can be entered in a computer database and compared to a possible suspect automatically. The response time varies depending on the priority of the case. Usually, homicides, rapes and other crimes of violence take priority. It may take six weeks or more to get a response for a property related theft case.

    • The second is sufficient quality for a known comparison, which means the print can be compared to a known suspect but not good enough for an automated search.

    • The third is sufficient quality palm print, which means the latent print is part of a palm print. Currently, palm prints cannot be searched by the Riverside County Cal-Id system. Palm prints can be compared to a suspect if known.

    • The fourth is insufficient quality, which means there is no evidentiary worth. The latent print cannot be compared or entered into the AFIS system due to insufficient fingerprint ridge detail.

  • My property has been recovered, how do I get it released?


    Depending on the status of the case, we may be able to release your property.

    Do you have a court order?

    We will comply with a valid court order.

    Does the case have a disposition?

    Items of an evidentiary value will be held until the case is adjudicated.

    Do you have documentation to prove ownership?

    Receipts, with serial numbers, are usually necessary to regain serialized items.

    Do you have identification?

    Along with the above documents, you will need a valid form of picture identification.

    Releases are coordinated through the assigned detective; the property room personnel do not facilitate the release. You should contact the assigned detective.

Chief of Police Sergio G. Diaz

Quick Links
Investigations Information
Magnolia Station:
10540 Magnolia Ave. #B
Riverside, CA 92505
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For Non-Emergencies
Call 951-354-2007
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