The center section of the evidence document contains the information about the property. The Item
Number column lists the number for each item or group of similar items. This number will match the
item number on the evidence/property tag attached to the item. If different items for the same
investigation are grouped before being received by the SA or MP, all these items are assigned the same
i. Quantity. This column represents the number of items in each entry. If five baseballs were
collected for evidence, then there would be one item number and all five baseballs would be grouped
j. Description of Articles. When reviewing this section, make sure an accurate description of
each item is given. This description is what is actually observed about the item at the time it was
collected. The features and condition of the item are noted.
(1) The value or estimated value is not listed. This protects the MP or agent who is
collecting the evidence. If the bracelet appears to be gold with diamonds and that description is given
on the evidence document, the MP and evidence custodian are responsible for a gold and diamond
bracelet. It may turn out that the bracelet is actually gold-filled with rhinestones. What if the owner of
the bracelet complains that a real gold bracelet was taken from him, but he was given a gold-filled
bracelet instead by the evidence custodian? Who is responsible?
(2) To protect the MPs involved in collecting evidence, make sure every item is carefully
described. A bracelet appearing to be gold would be listed as gold-colored metal bracelet. Again, no
value should be stated.
(3) All serial numbered items should be listed with the complete serial number in the
description. Also listed will be the initials of the person collecting the evidence, the date, and the time
the evidence was collected.
(4) In item number 4 of Figure 2-3 you can see that a cigarette butt was placed in a vial by
SA Paul. Evidence which is likely to be destroyed or altered when it is handled requires a protective
covering. In this example, a vial was used. Instead, of marking on the cigarette butt to identify it for
evidence, the agent marked the vial and the seal.
(5) All the items detailed in the sample DA Form 4137 were located in the living room of the
residence. Each item, though, was found separately within the room. You will note after the description
of each item, in parentheses, is the location where that item was found. For example, can you see where
the baseball was found?
(6) The words "Last Item" should follow the last item of evidence listed. It is typed in all
caps, centered, and set off with solid lines from the words to the margin. The sample used X's instead of
a solid line. This is another form of protection for the person completing the evidence document.
Without the "last item" statement, it would be possible to type in more items