(a) All municipalities are hereby authorized to provide by ordinance for the taking up and storing of abandoned and stolen personal property found within the corporate limits or outside the corporate limits but within the police jurisdictions and to sell the same in the manner provided in subsection (b) of this section. A permanent record giving the date of the taking of each piece of such property, the place where found and taken and a description of the property shall be kept. The property so taken shall be stored in a suitable place to protect it from deterioration; provided, that if the property be perishable the same may be sold at once without notice, in which case the proceeds shall be held for a period of six months for the account of the owner and if not called for within that time shall be converted into the general fund.
(b) At least every six months the chief officer of the law enforcement department of each such city and town adopting an ordinance under subsection (a) of this section shall sell at public auction to the highest bidder for cash the property which shall have then been taken up and stored for a period of three months or more, the sales to be made after notice of the time and place thereof shall have first been given by publication of notice once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the city or town in question and, in cities and towns in which no newspaper is published, by posting such notice in a conspicuous place at the city hall or police station. The first publication or posting of notice, as the case may be, shall be at least 20 days before the sale. The owner of any of the property taken up and stored may redeem the same at any time prior to its sale by paying the reasonable expense of taking the property in charge, its maintenance and storage and a pro rata of the cost of publication. Each article shall be sold separately and a notation in the storage record book shall be made of the amount received for each article. The person making the sale shall have the right to reject any and all bids if the amount bid be unreasonably low and shall have the right to continue the sales from time to time if no bidders are present. After deducting and paying all expenses incurred in the taking up, storing, maintaining and selling of the property, the balance, if any, shall be paid into the general fund of the municipality making the sale.
Last modified: May 3, 2021