Cops with Sticky Fingers

Where would activists doing animal seizures get the idea they could take and keep things that don't belong to them?  "The sheriff's department kept another 221 items for its own use."  From law enforcement officers, of course!

Let me explain.  Law enforcement comes into possession of all kinds of goodies.  In many cases, the items are seized as evidence and held in property rooms (or they're supposed to be) until trial and then they should be returned to their OWNER.  Some owners don't know they can get their stuff back and some are simply told that they can't and they don't push.  In large counties, it can take a while for something to get to trial - and even longer than that after the trial to get one's stuff back.  Law enforcement doesn't always just hand stuff over as they should.

Ask Amy got involved when a woman's TV was held as evidence for 8 months as evidence and then for about 4 more months while the owner got the runaround, finally being told she needed an "order to restore" signed by the judge that convicted the burglar.  Hm, really?  "The judge who finally wrote that order for Pennington told Davis she couldn't remember the last time she had completed an 'order to restore'."  Might it be that one only needs an "order to restore" when law enforcement wants to keep the goody in question?

The TV owner "wonders how many people never get their property back".  ME TOO!!!

"Harris County Sheriff's Department tells Local 2 in 2009, it returned 1350 items to their rightful owners. Three-hundred seventy-one items were auctioned off when they say no one claimed them. The sheriff's department kept another 221 items for its own use."  Now I find it a wee bit difficult to believe the Harris County, Texas, Sheriff's Department logged in less than 2,000 items of property that should have been returned during all of 2009.  Setting that aside, I'm pretty sure they're supposed to sell everything of value and buy what they need for the Department.  Sure, I can see the temptation to by-pass that process if what you're about to order is sitting in the "unclaimed" box.

ESPECIALLY if what the Department guys WANT is something that won't get approved and is sitting in the "unclaimed" box and MOST especially if it's a $600 TV!

I wonder how many people got as far as the fact this woman got her TV back and gave the Department a pass without getting to this last paragraph and thinking about those very last 2 sentences.

So, Amy, I'm asking: What 221 property items did their sticky deputy fingers hang onto from 2009?  Cars?  Jewelry?  Firearms?  Valuations too please.  On the auctioned items, what do they mean by "no one claimed them"?  Did they make ANY attempt to contact the owner?  How much did they gross and net at auction?  Where did the auction proceeds go?  And how about HPD and other law enforcement agencies?  How sticky are their donut glazed fingers?  (Sorry to all the fit and decent law enforcement officers out there but I have yet to see a law enforcement officer in Harris County, Texas, who wasn't hauling an excessive gut with him or her.  Given the percentage in that condition, it's certainly no wonder the few burglars that are caught.  These chubby butt law enforcement officers ain't chasing anything that isn't edible!)

Does anyone in government grasp the basic concept of private property?  Rights?  Even just plain right and wrong; keep your hands and feet to yourself?

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