See any inconsistencies here?
On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM, May, Michael
As to the bare legal question, as you know, materials that are trash are not subject to any of the statutes on lost or abandoned property. From the facts stated by Chief Wray, I take it that the officers involved concluded that the materials were being discarded or thrown away. If that is the case, then the cited statute, and related ones, do not apply.
Michael P. May
Incident Report # 2012-290745
On Wednesday morning, Madison Police discovered a large number of items left on city property between the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum, 30 W. Mifflin St., and State St. This is an area where police have been pro-actively working for months to educate citizens that is illegal to leave or abandon property in public right-of-ways, sidewalks, or cul-de-sacs. The message was sent that violators could be ticketed, and abandoned property could be discarded. In most cases, the MPD has been able to obtain voluntary compliance.
Yesterday, a significant amount of property was discovered. It included grocery bags, trash bags, and containers of alcohol. There were bed rolls, suitcases, and cardboard boxes. Many items were wet, and appeared to have been left for several days.
There was no identification on the property, and no one gathered in the area claimed ownership. An officer spent more than one hour trying to find anyone who did, and was unsuccessful.
The officer then contacted Mall Maintenance staff and asked that the property be removed. Mall Maintenance responded with a truck and the abandoned property was taken to a city facility on Olin Ave.
Chief Noble Wray said it is a “tough job” to manage public spaces, particularly near the Capitol Square where property – with no identification – is often abandoned, or left unattended for long periods of time. Much of it contains perishable items, bio hazards, soiled clothing, and wet items which is not appropriate for submission to the MPD’s Property Room, where there would not be adequate space to house all items found abandoned.
In addition, in the post 9-11 era, unattended backpacks and other items are subject to suspicion by citizens and by law enforcement.
The MPD’s intent was not to deprive anyone of their personal property, but to enforce the law and maintain safety.
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