Guide To Filing A Report




Please confirm the following to find out if online filing is right for you:

1. This is not an emergency.

2. This incident occurred within the County of Merced.

3. This did not occur on a state freeway.

4. This does not involve the theft of a motor vehicle and/or license plate(s).

5. This does not involve a theft from someone unlawfully entering your home, business, or structure (includes detached garages, sheds, cargo containers, etc).

If all of the above statements apply to your case, you are ready to file your report online. If this is an emergency, please call 911. For non‐emergencies you may also call 209-385-7444. 

Using the Merced County Sheriff's Office Online Reporting System you can report the following incidents:

• Custody Order Violation

• Fraud and Identity Theft

• Harassing Phone Calls (excluding threats of imminent harm or death)

• Hit & Run (property damage only) If you have a license plate for the other vehicle, call 209-385-7444.

• Lost Property

• Theft (except motor vehicles and license plates)

• Vandalism (including graffiti/tagging)

• Vehicle Burglary (Use if parts were stolen off your vehicle: tailgate, catalytic converter, rims/tires, etc)

If you were a victim of a theft and the information stolen was later used to commit Fraud or Identity Theft, you need to file one report for the theft and a separate report for the Fraud/Identity Theft.

Report Completion:

Address section:

ST#: refers to the number portion of your address.

ST Dir: Use if the directional indicator (North, East, West, South) of your address listed before the street name. Ex: 1234 North Mission St

Post Direction: Use if the directional indicator (North, East, West, South) for your address is listed after the street name. Ex: 1234 Mission St North

Incident Time:

Start Time: Refers to the last time you saw the property as you left it or the first unlawful transaction/ activity on your account.

End Time: Refers to the time the damage/theft was discovered or the last unauthorized transaction/activity.

Ex: You parked the vehicle at 9pm and returned at 11pm to find the vehicle had been vandalized. The start time is 9 pm and the end time is 11pm.

Incident Description:

Keep in mind that your narrative is going to be the actual police report and will be the information sent to detectives for follow up and to the DA’s Office and judge for prosecution, if your case goes to court. Please use proper grammar and punctuation.

Please provide a complete description of the incident. What happened? Where? When? How? Why? (If applicable. Ex‐ harassing phone calls by known subject) Who? (suspect information and why you believe they are involved)

If there is a witness, please provide a full name, race, sex, address, and contact number.

If the case involves a known suspect, please provide as much information as possible, including full name, race, sex, height, weight, hair/eye color, address, phone number, and clothing description.

If the case involves an unknown suspect, please provide as much of the following information as you have: race, sex, height, weight, hair/eye color, and clothing description.

Vehicle Information:

You must list your vehicle, including the license plate number or vehicle identification number(VIN), if your vehicle was involved in the crime.

Ex: Your vehicle was vandalized.

Suspect Involvement: Refer to the vehicle the suspect arrived in, left in, or was driving during the collision.

Victim Vehicle Attacked: Refers to the vehicle that was damaged: Your vehicle.


This information is loaded into a database that we search when we recover property believed to be stolen. Be as descriptive as possible.

List all the items individually. Include serial numbers if you have them. Your insurance company will require an itemized list of all stolen items. It is easier to list everything in the first report rather than have to complete a second report to provide all the information needed by your insurance.

Ex: A backpack with a wallet is stolen. You need an entry for the backpack, wallet, money, driver’s license and/or Cal ID card, each credit/debit card, each social security card, other items in the backpack.

Non‐serialized property, such as clothing, make‐up, books, can be grouped together. For credit/debit cards you will need the Brand (Visa, MasterCard, etc), the serial number (the account number on the face of the card) and the issuing bank or company in the description section.

For checks, the Brand will be the issuing bank and the serial number is the account number. In the description section, include the check numbers for the stolen checks.

For Social Security Cards, Drivers License and/or Cal ID cards, use the number as the serial number. List the owner’s name in the description box.

Serialized property, including credit/debit cards, social security cards, drivers license/Cal ID cards, are entered into a statewide database as stolen property if we have all the information listed above.

Market value/Damage Value: The market value refers to the actual cost to replace to item stolen itself. For keys, it does not cover the cost to re‐key locks due to the loss or theft of the keys. Credit cards and checks have no value. The damage value refers to the amount to repair the damage to an item. If you do not have the exact value, please provide an estimate.

**Please check your email regularly until you receive the email that contains your permanent case number. Once the report is approved, the temporary case number is purged approximately two weeks later and cannot be searched. If we need additional information, we will send an email requesting the information. We attempt to process the reports as quickly as possible so the cases can be routed to the Investigation Unit, if applicable. If you fail to respond to the emails and we are unable to process the report as written, your report will be rejected and you will have to re‐file the report. If you have questions or difficulty filing the report, please call 209-385-7444 to ask for assistance.