Audit: $30K in property seized in Austin in ’10

The Austin Police Department seized more than $30,000 worth of property in 2010, according to a Minnesota State Auditor’s report released May 30.

The report states that the Austin department seized 17 vehicles and sold them at auction for a total of $33,260. Minus $2,864 in administrative expenses, that works out to $30,396. While the report includes things such as vehicles, boats, trailers, firearms and cash seized from various crimes like drug sales, the Southeastern Minnesota Narcotics Task Force collects all local money from drug busts.

For the 13-agency, eight-county task force, that meant $108,509 net in seizures.

Police Capt. Dave McKichan said cash taken on drug raids can vary greatly in a given year.

“It really fluctuates depending on the timing,” he said. “Sometimes when you see a large seizure of actual product, you may not see a lot of money seized because all the money is in the actual product.”

McKichan added drug raids in Austin usually recover less than $1,000 or even $500.

And property seizures vary greatly as well. Most are because of DWIs. Though Austin’s total on property seizures may seem high, one vehicle, a 1965 Ford Mustang, was sold for more than $13,000, skewing the numbers.

Comparatively, Rochester collected just more than $61,000 in 88 seizures, while Albert Lea took in just $3,770 on nine. The net total for the entire state was $4.46 million on 4,604 seizures.

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