A waste of expensive knives

Sep 4, 1999
A couple good stories: most of my friends show me any odd or new blades they've gotten,knowing my interest in knives.Most knives my LEO friends confiscate I have no interest in.At least 90% are kitchen type knives,cheap lockbacks or old bayonets.Sometimes though I see unusual things.
One aquaintence took a CS master tanto from a car thief. His MO was to ram the tanto into the doorlock,twist slightly then just pull the whole lock out.He sold the master tanto to his SGT. for....$25!
Second aquaintence took a knife from a deranged man causing a disturbance at an all night deli.The knife is a spyderco Civilian,the older model with aluminum handles.He carries it around and cuts string and his sandwhiches with it.

A Civilian would be just the ticket to cut a big crusty hero sandwich. the Olive oil would even lube up the blade. No waste there. :)
I have a question concerning the confiscated knives and such. How could the LEO sell the knives? Arent they evidence and supposed to be the property of the department, county or state? I dont care, I am just curious!

As one who used to wear the uniform, I agree. The LEO's in question are thieves.
I always hate to hear stories such as this, as they tend to make folks think we are all crooked.Where I work, even a $1 Barlow gets turned in with a Record Of Property Received and a Case Number for tracking purposes, and goes into the locked box for the property custodian.There are laws and rules about the final disposal of all property so received, and none of them involve my pocket!

"To grow older is inevitable.To grow UP is optional."

I'm not a lawyer, but I do strongly suspect that what these "officers" are doing by retaining this confiscated property for their own is illegal, a form of stealing.

So, if the knives are stolen, and if you now clearly know that, then if you buy any knives from these "officers", how is that any different from knowingly buying stolen property from a more typical criminal? You're operating as their "fence". You've become a criminal yourself. In fact, if these were good officers, they'd arrest you for buying their knives. Furthermore, any knives you've thusly added to your collection really aren't yours morally or legally. They're subject to being confiscated back if the activities of these "officers" is discovered.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Yep, I'm with you. I wonder how many knives get "confiscated" under laws that get made up on the spot. I used to ask officers in this area what legal blade lengths, etc. were to carry. I asked twenty officers the same question, I get nineteen different answers...perhaps now I know why. I'm not trying to blast LEOs in any way (I'm more then grateful for the jobs you do) but, it seems that knowing legal blade lengths for your jurisidiction would be a common occurence on a daily basis.

Take care,
John Johnson
In defense of the LEOs in question, there are times that a person is frisked and found to be in possession of a knife that for whatever reason, he/she is not supposed to have, but the LEO chooses to give them a break and just take the kinfe away from them.
Since there are no charges filed, the knife is not "evidence", right?
What should the officer do with the knife? Throw it away? Seems like that'd be a waste.

That's my two cents. Hey! How come you're giving me change?
Seems to me it's worse to let officers keep property they take off citizens than to waste said property. I give people a break on alcohol charges by just taking the stuff all the time (I'm an RA at college.) I'm 21 so I could just drink it. I guess I could sell it, but I wouldn't get away with it for long because that's incredibly DIRTY. So I make the offenders watch me pour it so everything's clear. A waste? Sure, but at least I'm not a thief.

OTOH, those cops are probably less worried about it because they see it as the norm. Cops are generally known to keep everything from alcohol to guns in my small town, only the victims have never come forward. My dad tried to talk one guy into it but the guy just didn't think it was worth it, I guess. Disgusting.

"Iron Discipline is essential in acquiring proper truth-handling abilities. Neglect it and suffer. Thus endeth the lesson."
Master Warren Rowland
re "not evidence"
Doesn't this just give the LEO license to stop just anybody and keep their belongings he/she finds in a search?
Would not that be EXTORTION?
That we even know this goes on disgusts me.
Happens all the time in L.A. Guns are confiscated, added to the destroyed list and resold, and big drug seizures somehow turn up missing from the sheriff's evidence cage.

Not rumor, fact. The drug thing has been in the news more than once.

A personal friend of mine, respected citizen, active in the church etc., bought a used .38 for car trips. Stayed in a motel in oregon and it was stolen from the room. So he called the pd to report it with serial #. It showed up on the destroyed list at LAPD.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
From the above description, car theft and public disturbance, the knives in question seem to be major evidence in the prosecution of the cases. What the officers involved were doing confiscating them for their own use is a good question, considering the circumstances involved.

On the larger question of abuse of power v. discretionary use of authority, it is always best to err on the side of propriety. Only by being above reproach can the wielders of authority maintain the rights to wield it. It is an impossible task to attain, but it must be what we strive for if we truly want justice in our society.


If I ask too many probing qustions then folks won't stop by and show me their odd knives with matching stories-which is my only interest.
I was going to post some other odd things on the original topic from people on the other side of the spectrum,shadowy people doing things for shadowy organizations but change my mind as I can imagine the reaction that will get!

Here is a happy ending to a coppper confiscation of a knife. I sold a SW Swat knife to a friend of mine. He was at a party in Frederick, MD. where during a drug bust which he was not involved in, the cops took his knife basically for no reason. But he got it back. I figured he would never see it again,but he was told to pick it up which he did.
I was told by a California DA (the one who wrote our infamous Dirk or Dagger definition) that a cop can only take property if it's evidence, and they only need evidence if they're making an arrest. I guess there are a lot of guys who don't have the confidence to ask "Am I under arrest?" or to demand a receipt.

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