Westminster Municipal Code Title VI Chapter 11




6-11-1:  CUSTODIAN OF PERSONAL PROPERTY:  (1213 1734)  The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall have custody of all lost, abandoned and recovered personal property coming into the possession of the City or its agents or employees; except that any City Department Head, or his designee, may retain custody of such property found within his Department if the property, in the opinion of the Department Head or designee, is of apparent nominal value, including, but not limited to, sports equipment or items of personal clothing.  The Chief of Police, City Department Head, or his designee, shall keep a record of all property placed in his custody, and he shall, pending disposal of the property, cause the property to be stored securely on City property or in some other suitable place, but not in the personal custody of such person. For purposes of this Chapter nominal value shall mean worth less than twenty dollars ($20).


(A) If an officer or employee of the City finds lost, abandoned or stolen property and takes possession of such property in the course of his employment, the City shall be deemed the finder and the property shall be placed with the proper custodian as set forth in Section 6-11-1, W.M.C.

(B) If a private person finds personal property not his own, he shall deliver such property to the City, to be placed with the proper custodian as set forth in Section 6-11-1, W.M.C.  The finder shall make a written report containing the location and circumstances of the finding, and shall be issued a receipt for the property that shall inform the finder of his right to reclaim possession thereof by making written notification to the custodian of the finder’s intent to claim said property.  If the finder does not make such written notification within ten (10) days after the property was delivered to the City, the finder’s claim to the property shall be forfeited.

6-11-3:  INVESTIGATION INTO OWNERSHIP:  (1213 1734 2004)  Upon coming into possession of personal property that has no known owner, the custodian shall attempt to determine the ownership of the property by clearance of existing serial numbers, social security numbers or operation identification numbers through the CCIC/NCIC files.  If the owner of the property cannot be determined, the property may be disposed of as provided in this Chapter.

6-11-4:  NOTIFICATION OF OWNER OF PERSONAL PROPERTY:  (1213 1734)  If the owner of lost, abandoned or stolen personal property, motor vehicles excepted, is determined by the custodian, he shall give notice in writing to the owner that his property is in the possession of the City and may be reclaimed; and that it will be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City unless the owner reclaims the property within ten (10) days after the effective date of the notice. The notice shall be sent to the owner at his last known address by regular or first-class United States mail, postage prepaid, and the notice shall be effective when mailed.

6-11-5:  DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY: (1213 1734)

(A) If the lost, stolen or abandoned personal property has more than nominal value, the custodian, if not the Chief of Police, shall deliver the property to the Chief of Police within forty-eight (48) hours after it comes into the possession of the City.  If the property is not part of an investigation, it shall be kept for thirty (30) days, and then may be disposed of pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

(B) If the property is of nominal value, and is not part of an investigation, it shall be retained for ten (10) days; except that, in the discretion of the custodian, articles of used clothing and towels may be disposed of sooner than the ten (10) days.

(C) If a person claims to be the owner of the property at any time prior to the City’s disposition of the property, the custodian shall return the property to such claimant, provided that the claimant submits competent evidence of his ownership that is sufficient to satisfy the custodian that the claim is rightful, and provided that the claimant reimburses the City for all reasonable costs incurred by the City in obtaining possession of and storing the property, and in the publication and mailing of notice relating to the property.

(D) If the time limits stated in this Section have passed, and if the owner of the property cannot be discovered and the property has not been claimed by the finder, the City may decide to retain selected items of property for use in the conduct of City business, may sell the property, or may donate it to a nondenominational charitable organization.  (1734)

6-11-6:  PROCEDURE FOR SALE: (1213 1734)

(A) Disposal of property by sale shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions in Chapter 2 of Title XV of this Code.

(B) In the event that no bid is made for an article of personal property offered at sale, it shall remain the property of the City.

(C) The sale and conveyance of said property shall be without right of redemption.


(A) Personal property that is confiscated by a member of the Police Department or any other officer or employee of the City acting in the course of his employment or under authority of law, and that is not held for use as evidence in any criminal or other legal action, shall be disposed of as follows:

(1) Any property that is contraband, or the possession of which is unlawful, shall be summarily forfeited to the City to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the Chief of Police, or his designee.

(2) The City may destroy or dispose of any property in its possession that has been used in an unlawful manner by the possessor thereof; provided that, the City shall first notify the owner at his last known address by sending a written notice by first-class United States mail that such property is in the possession of the City. The notice shall inform the owner that the owner has thirty (30) days from the mailing date to initiate a court action seeking a court order for the return of the property.  If the owner fails to initiate such an action within thirty (30) days after the mailing date of the notification, the City may destroy or dispose of the property.

6-11-8:  APPLICATION:  (2060)  The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to the disposition of abandoned, lost, recovered or confiscated personal property.  This does not include unclaimed deposits or other unclaimed moneys held, issued or owing by another department of the City in the ordinary course of the City’s business, the disposition of which is governed by Chapter 29 of Title I.

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