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(A) Custody of property.
(1) The Chief of Police will take custody of all personal property, including lost money, lawfully coming into the possession of the city and city employees in the course of municipal operations and remaining unclaimed by the owner.
(2) The Chief of Police must retain the property in a safe place for a period of 90 days (“hold period”), unless claimed by the true owner with satisfactory proof of ownership.
(3) For the purposes of this section, SAFE PLACE may mean depositing monies with the City Finance Department, provided the money does not have value beyond its face value due to its age, rarity or numismatic value. The Chief of Police must keep a record of the property, including its disposition.
(B) Disposition of property.
(1) Property held in custody by the Chief of Police and not claimed by the true owner during the hold period will be deemed abandoned.
(2) The Chief of Police may appropriately dispose of abandoned property following the hold period in one of the following ways:
(a) Sell the property at a public sale following ten days’ published notice in the official newspaper;
(b) Return the lost property or funds to its finder;
(c) Convert usable property to city use;
(d) Donate the property to a tax-exempt, non-profit organization;
(e) Deposit unclaimed funds into the city’s General Fund, except as provided in division (G) below;
(f) Scrap usuable property or property of little or no value.
(3) The costs of the sale, including, but not limited to, storage fees, publication fees and administrative expenses will be taken out of the proceeds of the public sale. Property not purchased at a public sale may be disposed of by the Chief of Police in any reasonable manner.
(C) Claims by owner. During the hold period, the owner may claim the property by providing satisfactory proof of ownership and paying the city any storage or maintenance costs, pursuant to the fee schedule.
(D) Summary disposal. The Chief of Police may dispose of unclaimed property without notice and in a summary manner when the Chief of Police believes this to be in the public interest and if the Chief of Police determines that the property:
(1) Is of a dangerous or perishable nature;
(2) Is contraband;
(3) Has no resale value; and/or
(4) Cannot be legally or safely sold at public sale.
(E) Disposition of funds. All money that was received from the sale of abandoned property, less the costs of the sale, shall be deposited into the city’s General Fund, except as provided in division (G) below or unless otherwise required by state law.
(F) Owner’s claim after sale. If the former owner makes application and furnishes satisfactory proof of ownership within six months of the sale, the former owner will be paid the proceeds of the sale, less the costs of the sale.
(G) Special provisions; Police Department. Money and other property lawfully seized by, or voluntarily surrendered to, the city at the scene of a crime or during an official police investigation must be retained by the Chief of Police in a safe place until a legal disposition is determined or the property is deemed abandoned under division (B) above. If not lawfully claimed by the true owner with adequate proof of ownership during the hold period, non-monetary property may be disposed of pursuant to divisions (B)(2)(a) through (B)(2)(d) above. Sale proceeds or seized money shall be deposited in the Police Department’s forfeiture and seizure account to be used only for law enforcement purposes or as otherwise specified by statute.
(H) Disposition of abandoned motor vehicles. The Chief of Police must dispose of abandoned motor vehicles by following the procedure in Minn. Stat. §§ 168B.01 through 168B.101, as they may be amended from time to time.
(Ord. 13-02, passed 5-28-2013)