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(A) Custodian of property used as evidence or other property lost or unclaimed. All property used as evidence in any court and remaining unclaimed after final disposition of the cause in which it was used, all property seized by a police officer as being used unlawfully or for an unlawful purpose, and all property coming into the hands of any city police officer or employee of the city as lost or unclaimed shall be delivered to the Police Department for safekeeping. The city shall make reasonable efforts to ascertain and contact the owner of any such aforementioned property, money or currency regarding its disposition, except owners as specified in subsections (C)(4) and (D) of this section. The city will hold such property, money or currency for a period of time as stated in A.R.S. § 12-942, or its successor, from the date it was delivered to the Police Department and shall, if possible, notify the owner of the deadline for making a claim.
(B) Recovery by owner. If the owner appears within the statutory time after receipt of the property by the Police Department, proves ownership of the property, and pays all reasonable charges, the city shall restore the property to the owner. The city may require payment by the owner of a reasonable charge to defray costs of storage and care of the property prior to restoring the property to the owner.
(C) Recovery by finder.
(1) If the value of the property is $100 or more, and no owner appears and proves ownership of the property within the statutory time, the city shall cause notice of the property to be published at least once in the official newspaper. If, after seven days following the publication of the notice, no owner appears and proves ownership of the property and the person who found or saved the property pays the cost of the publication, and any costs incurred in the care and storage of the property, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of the city in which case the property shall be disposed of pursuant to this chapter. Title to the property shall not vest in the person who found or saved the property unless the costs of publication and handling are first paid to the city.
(2) If the reported value of the property is less than $100 and no owner appears and proves ownership of the property within the statutory time, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property, unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of the city in which case the property shall be disposed of pursuant to this chapter.
(3) If the owner thereof has not claimed and taken away such property, money, or currency within the statutory time, the finder shall have 30 days within which to claim and take away the property, money or currency.
(4) Property, money or currency shall not be returned to a owner or finder who is a prohibited possessor of such property, money or currency under any federal, state or local laws unless otherwise provided for by law. If there is no other claimant of title to such property, money or currency, it shall be deemed unclaimed and be disposed of pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(D) Disposition if unclaimed. If neither the owner nor finder claims and takes away the property, money or currency within the time periods specified herein, they shall be conclusively presumed to have made an unconditional donation of said property, money or currency to the city; and the initial receipt by the city of said property, money or currency into its possession shall constitute a receipt of a donation.
(E) Disposition of unclaimed property. If any property referred to in subsection (A) of this section, except money or currency, is not claimed and taken away within the time period specified in subsection (A) of this section, the Police Department shall deliver a complete itemized list or inventory of such property to the Purchasing Agent. All property, except money or currency, not desired by any city department shall be disposed of by the Purchasing Agent pursuant to this chapter. Money or currency shall be deposited in the general fund of the city.
(F) Exempt property. The following property shall be exempt from auction and disposed of as follows:
(1) Unlawful property and illegal contraband shall be destroyed.
(2) Alcohol and alcoholic beverages, either open or in sealed containers, shall be destroyed.
(3) Property that is without value in the opinion of the Purchasing Agent shall be destroyed or discarded.
(4) All firearms and deadly weapons, whether operational or not, as defined in A.R.S. § 13-105 or its successor shall be disposed of by one of the following methods:
(a) The firearm may be returned to the lawful owner.
(b) The firearm may be converted to use by the Yuma Police Department.
(c) The firearm may be transferred to other law enforcement agencies for official law enforcement purposes.
(d) Firearms having historical significance may be transferred to the appropriate museums.
(e) Firearms that do not have a legible serial number, or have been illegally modified, or have been defined as illegal by federal or state law shall be destroyed. All other firearms shall be offered at public bid, such public bid shall be open only to licensed firearms dealers.
(f) Deadly weapons, as defined in A.R.S. § 13-105.13 or its successor, which are determined to be inappropriate for offering at public bid by the City Administrator, or his designee, shall be destroyed.
('80 Code, § 12-1) (Ord. 2075, passed 6-16-82; Ord. O2004-64, passed 12-1-04)