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Kansas police seize millions in cash and property without convicting anyone of a crime

Jeremy Shellhorn's car in a driveway
Courtesy Erin Hoffman
Jeremy Sellhorn's 1986 El Camino was seized by Kansas police.

Over the course of a three-and-a-half year period, Kansas police have taken more than $25 million in property and cash believed to be part of a crime — even if the victims are never charged. But critics say that civil asset forfeiture is being used unnecessarily and without proper oversight.

Between 2019 and 2022, Kansas police seized an average of $17,000 a day in property and cash. But 79% of those whose property was confiscated were not convicted of a crime.

Civil asset forfeiture is a tool to disrupt criminal activity, but once the property is seized, the onus is then put on citizens to get their property back and prove that there’s no reason to keep it.

Kansas News Service reporter Blaise Mesa told KCUR's Up To Date about the process and of victims who are still trying to recover property years it was taken by police.

  • Blaise Mesa, Kansas News Service reporter

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