Vice Squad
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Undue Process

Vice Squad has noted in the past the bottlenecks that Los Angeles has faced in trying to seize the cars of people accused of soliciting prostitution. Some seventy miles way, the town of Lancaster, California, has picked up the habit of punishing people who have not been convicted of any crime -- these sorts of tendencies are addictive, it seems. In March, Lancaster also started to impound the cars of those accused of soliciting prostitutes. Since it was a new police tactic for Lancaster, however, the town cut the accused a break -- the drivers "only" had to pay an impoundment fee of $500 to $1000 to get their cars back. But it's no more Mr. Nice Guy in Lancaster, oh no. From now on, the Deputy District Attorney says, drivers accused of soliciting will have their cars confiscated and sold at auction.

Incidentally, only 25 of the 30 cars that were seized in March were ransomed. "The five remaining vehicles could be sold at auction or city officials could decide to keep them for municipal use."

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