Ripley Rand, the top federal prosecutor for the middle part of North Carolina, is gathering information about vehicles seized from motorists in Hamlet, N.C., who were charged unauthorized storage fees or had their cars and trucks scrapped by police. The Police Department kept the money, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. Rand said he “will take very seriously” concerns by city leaders that motorists' rights may have been violated.
City leaders in Hamlet outlining a set of circumstances that City Manager Marchell Adams-David wrote has “unnerved our close-knit community.” The controversy includes at least 12 vehicles that were seized and scrapped after charges were dismissed in court. One man was arrested without probable cause by a Hamlet police officer in a neighboring city. Police drove off in his car, and he never got it back. City officials have been unable to find proper documents detailing why at least seven other vehicles were sold for parts. A truck seized in a murder probe ended up at a detective's home after an apparent exchange of cash at the junkyard. The News & Observer earlier reported on blank court orders that allowed some vehicles to be sold as scrap.