The Investigations Division investigates serious or major crimes occurring in the unincorporated areas of Marin County. The division also provides technical and manpower assistance for major crimes to the city police departments when requested. This division is comprised of nine groups which are divided into four Sheriff’s Office investigative units, four multijurisdictional investigative units and a property/ evidence unit.
The first four Sheriff’s Office teams include adult, juvenile, crime scene and cold case investigative units. The multijurisdictional units include the Specialized Investigative Unit, the Coordination of Probation Enforcement Unit and the Marin County Auto Theft Task Force. Also under the umbrella of the Investigations Division is a sergeant assigned to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center. The Investigations Division is overseen by Lieutenant Brian Fay.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office is a member of Bay Area Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers is a program that gives citizens a chance to give information about crimes committed in their communities while still remaining anonymous. If you have information about a crime you can call the number below. The caller is given a code number that can be used at a later date to collect any reward. Rewards are paid in amounts up to $2000.00 depending on the crime and the information given.
You can contact Bay Area Crime Stoppers at:
(415) 472-CRIME (415-472-2746) or toll free at 800-222-8477.
The Sheriff’s Department serves all of unincorporated Marin. The patrol areas are divided into four locations: Southern Marin, Central/West Marin, Central/North Marin and West Marin, and they are numbered by area.
All agencies use the same reporting criteria which allows for comparison jurisdiction by jurisdiction. Please note that these are not all the crimes reported. Crimes such as vandalism, drunk driving, fraud are tracked separately. You may view all Marin County crime statistic information or other county or state statistics by accessing the California Crime Statistics from the California Attorney General’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies are always available to give Crime Prevention advice, conduct residential or commercial security inspections and speak on child safety issues.
Generally, residents are urged to lock doors and windows when they are away from home – no matter where you live. Don’t forget to lock your car as well and avoid leaving valuable items inside where they can be easily stolen. Be aware of the activity in your neighborhood, note the license plate number of suspicious vehicles and call the Sheriff’s Office. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. We’re happy to provide vacation security checks for up to 30 days. To speak to a deputy, or request a vacation security check, contact our Communications Center 415-479-2311 at any time.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers a wide range of safety tips, visit their site here
The purpose of this page is to inform you of California’s sex registration laws, how you can obtain sex offender information, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family. In 1947, California implemented the nation’s first sex offender registration program to help track the whereabouts of persons convicted of specific sex crimes. In 1996, California enacted “Megan’s Law,” which provides the public with photographs and descriptive information on serious sex offenders convicted of committing sex crimes and who are required to register their whereabouts with local law enforcement. As of January 1, 2021, a tiered registration system was instituted in California in response to Senate Bill 384. Registration requirement durations were changed to 10 years, 20 years, or lifetime, depending on the offender’s assigned tier. Prior offenders can petition the courts for termination of their registration requirement after meeting the conditions of their tier.
Recent Updates to the Law
For additional information on how SB 384 applies to registrants, as well as for the petition process, please review the County of Marin District Attorney’s Website at https://www.marincountyda.org/sb384-information. For certification information, to obtain tier information, or for service of petition, please contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Office at (415) 473-7265 or MCSO_290REG@Marinsheriff.org.
Megan’s Law Web Site
The California Department of Justice hosts a website that allows the public to access sex offender information for some offender classifications. The site can be found at www.meganslaw.ca.gov.
Offender Watch is the nation’s leading registered sex offender management and community notification tool with hundreds of leading agencies in dozens of states utilizing it. You may enter any address in Marin County and see real-time information on the publishable offenders within a one mile radius of the address you enter. You may confidentially register as many addresses in the County as you wish, and we will continuously monitor the addresses and send you an email alert if a new offender registers an address within one mile of any address you register. To find out more, click Offender Watch.
The release of this information to the public is a means of assuring public protection and not to punish the offenders. The information may not be used to harass the offender or commit any crime against the offender. Public safety is best served when offenders are not concealing their location to avoid harassment.
You can reduce the risk to yourself and your family by taking simple precautions:
Practice good security – at home, at the office, and in your vehicle.
Be alert to locations and situation that make you and your family vulnerable to crime, and be aware of people around you and your family.
Teach your children to avoid situations that put them in danger of abuse, molestation or abduction. Help protect your child by establishing a home environment where your child feels safe to tell you anything, without fear of shame, ridicule or punishment. A safe and supportive home environment, combined with clear instructions about what behavior is acceptable and what is not, will guide your child’s actions and encourage your child to tell you if something improper happens. Many parents warn their children not to talk to strangers. But more often than not, an abuser or abductor is known to the child. He or she can be a school bus driver, teacher, relative, neighbor or family friend. It is best to teach your child to avoid certain situations or actions. Children should know from an early age that some behavior isn’t acceptable, and that they have the right to tell an adult to leave them alone.
Here are some specific rules you can teach your child:
Stay away from people who call you near their car, even if they offer to take you somewhere exciting.
If someone tries to take you away, yell, “This person is not my father (or mother) and scream.
If you get lost in a store, find another mom with children or go to the checkout counter. Don’t wander around on your own.
You don’t have to keep secrets from your parents. No one can hurt your parents or pets if you tell what happened.
No one should touch you in the parts covered by your bathing suit, and you should not be asked to touch anyone there.
Don’t let anyone take your picture without permission from your parents or teacher.
For more information, contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, or visit the Attorney General’s home page at www.caag.state.ca.us.
Adult Crime Unit
The Adult Crime Unit consists of one
sergeant and three detectives. The Adult Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating all serious
crimes to include homicide, robbery, property crimes, and crimes against
provide a coordinated response to the various crime scenes that are encountered
throughout the county. Detectives complete both preliminary and follow-up
investigations. Detectives also conduct research to establish common
links between crimes and seek to identify / arrest each offender.
Detectives in the unit have received extensive training related to death
investigations, search and seizure, search warrants, evidence collection and
preservation, interviewing, intelligence gathering and the legal process.
The Juvenile Unit is comprised of two child abuse/sexual assault detectives, one School Resource Officer, and one sergeant. The unit is responsible for investigating child abuse, sexual assault, vice crimes and juvenile delinquency. Detectives receive numerous hours of specialized training to address all manner of crimes committed against children.
The Sheriff’s Office is committed to the multi-disciplinary approach when investigating cases of sexual exploitation of children. Detectives from this unit work closely with the District Attorney, Child Protective Services, the Jeannette Prandi Children’s Center and other treatment providers.
The Juvenile Unit, under the umbrella of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Region II Regional SAFE Task Force. SAFE stands for Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement. This task force is a cooperative arrangement with 11 other Bay Area counties. The primary objective of the Region II Regional SAFE Task Force is to reduce the rate of non-compliance among registered sex offenders and provide educational programs to the community as they relate to registered sex offenders. This taskforce works together to investigate and monitor registered sex offenders, conduct compliance checks and surveillance, and seeks to ultimately protect the community.
The Juvenile Unit also partners with agencies across the bay area to combat Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). As a part of a regional ICAC Task Force the Juvenile unit seeks to identify, apprehend and prosecute Internet sexual predators who exploit children through the use of computers. The Juvenile Unit also sponsors community education efforts regarding the prevention of Internet crimes against children.
The School Resource Officer, Deputy Josie Sanguinetti is responsible for addressing concerns and referrals involving juveniles in Marin County Schools. This unit also administers the Juvenile Diversion Program and coordinates the School/Law Enforcement Partnership with the Marin County Office of Education.
The Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) unit is comprised of two Detectives. The CSI unit is responsible for, but are not limited to, photographing, analyzing, collecting evidence, reconstructing major crime scenes, assisting deputies and other agencies with crime scene processing, analyzing fingerprints and operating the CAL-ID computer which searches the State’s fingerprint database. In addition to CAL-ID, the unit also operates a County wide AFIS system for searching latent fingerprints.
The CSI unit also runs a latent fingerprint laboratory where evidence collected at a crime scene is processed for latent prints. Processing includes cyanoacrylate (superglue) fuming, black powder and magnetic powder processing, ninhydrin processing and the use of A.L.S. and fluorescent powders.
Cold Case Team
The Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division also oversees a Cold Case Team. The Cold Case Team was established in 2012 to focus investigative efforts on unsolved homicides. The team is currently staffed on a volunteer basis by three retired former prosecutors from the Marin County District Attorney’s Office.
During their methodical review of each case, the information is organized and examined for new avenues of investigation, including the latest advances in the field of forensic science. The Cold Case Team routinely reviews investigative leads and intelligence for possible connection to homicides. During their first year with the Sheriff’s Office, the Cold Case Team helped the District Attorney’s Office with the pretrial preparation and jury trail of serial killer Joseph Naso.
The Property Unit maintains the
evidence and property submitted by our Deputies and Detectives. This includes,
but is not limited to, items of evidence in criminal matters, evidence seized
in narcotic related investigations, found property and firearms that are turned
over to the Sheriff’s Office to be destroyed.
The person in charge of our
property/evidence storage unit is Christine Wheeler Christine is in charge of receiving the
property and evidence; maintaining the files and records regarding the storage,
movement and disposition of property in her custody; releasing evidence to the
courts for trials; testifying in court as to the chain of custody of evidence;
releasing property to its rightful owner; making sure property is properly
destroyed when the disposition requires; arranging for the sale of unclaimed
property to the public through an authorized auction house and the safe
handling and destruction of bio-hazard materials. If you need to claim property
that has been taken as evidence and there has been a final disposition in the
court case or you want to claim found property in our custody, please call
415-473-6820 and make an appointment with Christine. Please do not just stop
by. Making an
appointment assures that someone will be here to assist you.
Coordination of Probation Enforcement
The main focus of the C.O.P.E. unit is to monitor high risk narcotic violators who have been placed on probation rather than serving time in custody. The goal of the C.O.P.E. unit is to ensure that those individuals who have been granted the privilege of probation are leading law abiding lives rather than reverting back to their criminal ways. The unit carries out its goal by conducting unannounced probation searches on those probationers who have waived their 4th amendment right to search and seizure. The unit also conducts investigations into street level narcotics dealers and assists the Specialized Investigative Unit with their narcotic investigations.
The C.O.P.E. unit was started in 1990 and originally staffed with a Sergeant and a Deputy from the Sheriff’s Office and a Marin County Probation Officer. The unit is currently staffed by a Sheriff’s Sergeant, a Sheriff’s Deputy, a Novato Police Officer, and a Marin County Probation Officer.
The C.O.P.E. unit has countywide jurisdiction. They work with all of the agencies within Marin County and often receive information from the various police departments regarding probationers who require special attention.
Specialized Investigative Unit
The Specialized Investigative Unit (SIU), working under the command of the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Lieutenant, takes a proactive approach to investigate narcotics related criminal activity. The SIU is directly supervised by a Sheriff’s Office Sergeant who works in the capacity of an assistant commander of the unit. The unit is comprised of detectives from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Marin Police Authority, the California Highway Patrol as well as an agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
While the SIU primarily investigates narcotics related criminal activity the unit also assists with the investigations of violent or major crimes when the specialized skills of SIU personnel are requested by the agencies represented in the SIU. SIU personnel primarily work in an undercover capacity and are highly mobile to work within or outside of the county of Marin.
Marin County Auto Theft Taskforce
The Marin County Auto Theft Taskforce primary mission is to reduce the incidence of vehicle theft while increasing the apprehension rates of the professional vehicle thief. MCATT accomplishes its mission through proactive investigative methods and by providing vehicle theft training to allied agencies.
MCATT is coordinated through the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and managed by the Investigations Division Lieutenant. MCATT is supervised by the SIU Sergeant and comprised of law enforcement personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and CHP.