Sec. 31-7. Disposal of unclaimed property in the possession of the police department.
As provided in Sec. 15.1-133.01 and Sec. 15.2-1719 of the Code of Virginia, the Lynchburg Police Department is hereby authorized to (i) dispose of unclaimed personal property in its possession at public sale or (ii) to retain such property for use by the police department. As used in this section "unclaimed personal property" shall be any personal property belonging to another which has been acquired by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner for a period of more than sixty (60) days and which the state treasurer has indicated will be declined if remitted under the uniform disposition of unclaimed property act. Unclaimed bicycles and mopeds may be disposed of in accordance with Sec. 15.2-1720 of the State Code. Unclaimed firearms may be disposed of in accordance with Sec. 15.2-1721 of the State Code.
Prior to the sale or retention for use by the police department of any unclaimed item, the chief of police, or his duly authorized representative, shall make reasonable attempts to notify the rightful owner of the property, obtain from the attorney for the Commonwealth in writing a statement advising that the item is not needed in any criminal prosecution, and cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city once a week for two successive weeks, notice that there will be a public display and sale of unclaimed personal property. Such property, including property selected for retention by the police department, shall be described generally in the notice, together with the date, time and place of the sale and shall be available for public viewing at the sale. The chief of police, or his duly authorized representative, shall pay from the proceeds of the sale the cost of advertisement, removal, storage, investigation as to ownership and liens, and notice of sale. The balance of the funds shall be held by the police department for the owner and paid to the owner upon satisfactory proof of ownership. Any unclaimed item retained for use by the police department shall become the property of the city and shall be retained only if, in the opinion of the chief of police, there is an legitimate use for the property by the police department and that retention of the item is a more economical alternative than purchase of similar or equivalent item.
If no claim has been made by the owner for the property or proceeds of such sale within sixty (60) days of the sale, the remaining funds shall be deposited in the general fund of the city and the retained property may be placed into use by the law-enforcement agency. Any such owner shall be entitled to apply to the city within three years from the date of the sale and, if timely application is made therefor and satisfactory proof of ownership of the funds or property is made, the locality shall pay the remaining proceeds of the sale or return the property to the owner without interest or other charges or compensation. No claim shall be made nor any suit, action, or proceeding be instituted for the recovery of such funds or property after three years from the date of the sale. (Ord. No. O-97-217, 10-28-97)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM