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Police Make 17 Cars Vanish into Thin Air, Seized Without Explanation

The author and names of those referred to in this article submitted to Speed Society ...

The author and names of those referred to in this article submitted to Speed Society are kept anonymous in cooperation with their legal advisement.

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Imagine having someone come up to your house and enter at their own will and against yours, proceeding to take your keys and drive away with your car. It might have been a bit sneakier in this scenario, but that’s quite similar to what happened to the owners of 17 vehicles in the City of Orange, California.

What started off as a drive with friends turned into a nightmare where all 17 vehicles were impounded by the police department of the City of Orange with no explanation and no end in sight.

On the morning of December 26th, 2015, 17 individuals decided to go for a casual drive to lunch as a reunion of everyone being together and celebrating the day after Christmas as they were all home for the holidays. They had met up in the city of Tustin to do so.

The weather was overcast and very windy as they all departed, heading north on Jamboree towards the canyon. On their cruise, towards the front of the pack, one of the caravan cars was sideswiped by a cyclist blindly crossing over to avoid a tumbleweed. The bicyclist, who happens to have a son working as a detective over at the Brea Police Department, laid on the road with several cars pulled over to rush to his aid. The driver had called the police and within minutes there were several officers at the scene of the accident. The cyclist refused ambulance service and was shortly after picked up by his wife and rode home. The cyclist admitted fault and a police report was filed on the scene where the cyclist was also deemed at fault for the collision. Later on that day, GoPro footage was willingly signed over to the officers to review. This footage clearly showed the collision between the cyclist and the front caravan car, further verifying the information that was given to the police.

We fast forward to two weeks later. Several people from the caravan that day are now receiving phone calls from a detective at the Orange Police Department, claiming he is investigating the accident that took place on December 26th. Apparently, the officer on scene who took the initial report was involved in an accident and lost his memory, meaning the report was never filed and is now lost. None of the other officers at the scene (it was reported that there were three or more) filed a report, either.

Another two weeks go by and on February 11th, 2016, nine cars were seized in what has been described as quite barbaric. Police had shown up to the residences of the individuals. The scene was the same at every house with squad cars out front, police banging on the door, seizing cell phones and laptops, photographing the cars in question with their doors, hood, and trunk open, all the while providing a show for the whole block as neighbors left for work or school.

Those who weren’t home had officers show up at their workplace where they were escorted out in front of coworkers, colleagues, and bosses with hands tied behind their back.

It seems to us that this has officially become a case of guilty until proven innocent.

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We have to keep in mind that none of the individuals are alerted as to why their property has been seized, perhaps the most alarming part. They are advised to let the Police Department conduct their investigation and wait it out.

They do just that as they keep waiting until the morning of April 6 when another few vehicles were seized on a piggyback extension search warrant, signed off by the same judge in the same fashion as the first round. There are now 17 vehicles seized by the Orange Police Department for investigation purposes. Drivers wonder why this judge is signing off on these warrants.  Why are the vehicles needed for investigation?  We’re told that there has been no information given to any individual and it has been 60 days since the first cars have been impounded.

As if the situation couldn’t be any more obscene, at this point, all phone call attempts by attorneys to the detective and police department are ignored and messages unanswered.  A few individuals try to raise awareness of this abuse by attending the monthly council meeting at the City of Orange and presenting to the Mayor their concerns with the police department, seeking help in the matter.  As of now there is still no answer from the Mayor or any other City Council members.

On the morning of April 23rd of this year, several owners of the vehicles received some troubling images. This is the part where your stomach will turn if it hasn’t already.

All the vehicles seized by the Orange Police Department were out on public streets and being driven. Yes, really. Furious at this sight, a couple of individuals go out to the tow yard (Archie’s Towing) to witness first hand the activity taking place. The individuals say that they saw, first hand, the seized vehicles out on public streets being driven by both the police and the tow yard owner along with his high school son.

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One of the vehicle owners arrives on scene, recording multiple videos and taking several photographs of the cars being pulled out of the tow yard and being driven on the public streets. It’s at this point that an officer noticed him taking photographs and chases him on foot, stops him, and detains him for over an hour before seizing his cell phone without the owner’s permission. The cell phone was never returned as the officer claimed that “taking photographs of police activity is illegal.”

As of today, all repeated phone calls and messages are ignored on a daily basis and the attorneys are struggling to make progress. Peace officer friends, public officials, and media associates all deem this to be an extremely abusive behavior from the Orange Police Department. No one has heard of anything like this, especially for vehicles to be seized this long for a traffic violation.

These individuals continue working tirelessly to get their vehicles back as things get worse. Recently, two individuals have lost their jobs because of police presence at their workplace and a few have experienced loss of income for their businesses.

Let’s put this in some perspective, Consider the O.J. Simpson Trial, which for those you of that remember was a murder case involving not one, but two murders. This entire case consisted of a jury, overwhelming evidence, DNA testing, testimonies, and so much more but only lasted one year. For some reason, when 17 cars are seized it takes 102 restless days, almost 4 months, and absolutely no reason as to why is in sight.

If you’re an attorney or know an attorney interested in assisting, please contact at [email protected].

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