Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unclaimed Property

Do you remember the story of the 300-lb gorilla?  How could we forget, right?  Eventually the gorilla did find his way home, but his story had some people asking, “What happens if no one claims the gorilla?”  Our answer: the same thing that happens to almost all unclaimed property-- it would have gone up for auction.

With a very few exceptions, property that is unclaimed in Overland Park is currently put up for auction through an auction site  Now this can’t just happen overnight.  There are several steps that must be taken before items can go up for auction. 

We must first insure the property is not necessary for any type of investigation.  In other words, a case must be completely and totally resolved before we can take any further action.  Then we must give the owner, if identified, written notification and ample opportunity to reclaim their property.  If still unclaimed, items are then sent to auction.

Some of the exceptions to this include guns, drugs, and alcoholic beverages.  Drugs and alcohol are destroyed.  Guns are currently retained as reference and comparison items for the Johnson County Crime Lab.

This process applies to unclaimed property.  As for forfeiture items or surplus city equipment, they are handled differently and that is a blog for another day.