State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced a donation of $9,600 worth of clothing from the Fairmont Police Department to a Marion County domestic violence shelter – a donation authorized through the office’s Unclaimed Property program.
The clothing donated to the Hope, Inc. shelter had been seized by the Fairmont Police Department during a 2014 fraud investigation and was leftover following the conclusion of the case.
“My office is pleased to work with local law enforcement and important nonprofits like HOPE to see that some good can come out of a bad situation,” Treasurer Moore said. “We encourage all law enforcement agencies in West Virginia which might have similar unclaimed property sitting in their evidence rooms to reach out and consider doing the same.”
Treasurer Moore’s office worked with the Fairmont Police Department to grant the clothing donation through the state’s unclaimed property laws, which authorize the State Treasurer and local law enforcement agencies to donate any unclaimed stolen property in police possession – excluding firearms and ammunition – to nonprofit organizations.
The clothing donated to HOPE, Inc. was obtained during a fraud case in which the items were purchased under false pretenses and shipped to a Fairmont address from an online vendor. Following the investigation, the vendor decided it did not want the items back.
According to the law, after the stolen property has been determined to have no evidentiary value and has been held by a law enforcement agency for six months, if the rightful owner has either not come forward or the agency determines there is no likelihood it can be returned to a rightful owner, the Treasurer may authorize the donation of the property to a nonprofit organization that can make use of it.
Fairmont Police Chief Steve Shine said the state’s unclaimed property laws encourage local police departments to donate unclaimed stolen property to nonprofits through the State Treasurer’s Office.
“Depending on the items, we try to make requests to place those articles with nonprofits who can put them to the best use in service to our community,” Chief Shine said. “HOPE has established themselves as caretakers of people in need within our area, and particularly of women trying to regain some semblance of normalcy and independence. Hopefully this donation will aid their clients.”
HOPE, Inc. offers shelter and confidential support services to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence and their families in Marion, Harrison, Doddridge, Gilmer, and Lewis counties.
“Donations such as this are vitally important to the work we do as an agency,” said Michele McCord, executive director of HOPE, Inc. “This donation will be used to help us continue to meet the ever-changing needs of the victims and survivors in our five-county service area. Without the assistance of others within the community, we would not be able to provide as many resources to those we serve. We greatly appreciate these types of donations.”