West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue presented an unclaimed property check to Vienna Police Chief George Young Wednesday morning, which will be used to bolster the department’s canine program.
The check, in the amount of $2,118, is for the proceeds the Department is due after turning over unclaimed stolen/abandoned items to the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division.
“Unclaimed property isn’t just your grandmother’s forgotten bank account,” said Treasurer Perdue. “Law enforcement agencies around the state have the responsibility to turn over unclaimed stolen or abandoned property to the state, as well. It can be a daunting task to purge these evidence rooms and turn over appropriate items to the state, but, there is a great opportunity for these departments to be rewarded for their hard work.”
Law enforcement agencies are required by state law to turn over certain evidence room items to the State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division after the items have been held for a certain amount of time and retired as evidence. The Treasurer’s Office then auctions such items through an online or live bidding process.
“We have one canine in use now,” Young said. “We have another one in training right now for the next five or six weeks. Once we get him trained, then we have to provide a kennel, a bite suit, food and care and maintenance.”
Under the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, law enforcement agencies may apply for net proceeds generated by the sale of unclaimed items. The Vienna Police Department is among a handful of agencies to benefit from this law.
Unclaimed stolen/abandoned property is any tangible personal property which is confiscated by or otherwise comes into the custody of law enforcement agencies.
Unclaimed Property online auctions are held periodically. To view current auction items, go to www.westvirginiaunclaimedproperty.org. Active bidders must first establish an account with a user name and password.Under state law, unclaimed firearms reported to the Unclaimed Property Division may be sold at public auction, as well, but the sales are restricted to registered Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) dealers and special requirements for purchase apply.