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Searches and seizures

Posted Thursday, March 20, 2008, at 11:59 AM

According to a Bedford County Sheriff's Department report, the victim of a recent burglary asked a deputy to search several nearby residences.

"I then advised (him) that I could not illegally search someone's property," the deputy said in the report.

In general, how far should property searches go? I'd say a search warrant shouldn't be obtained unless there's serious evidence to believe someone's hoarding stolen property in their home.

I agree with the deputy. At the same time, the victim's view is fully understandable.

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I can see where the victim is coming from but you can't just go where ever you want and look through what you want to make sure none of your crap is at their house. If they could nail it down a little better and say "I'm pretty sure it was such and such" the officer could go knock on the door and ask but that's about the extent of it.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 12:29 PM

This same thing happened to my parents. They were broken into and very specific things were taken. They had a former house keeper that was, at the time of the burglary, out on bond for an arrest for shoplifting at Wal-Mart. My parents told the officer exactly who did it and where she lived. I left out that entry was gained by a key, not actually breaking in the door. Unfortunately, my parents never moved the hidden key, after the suspect no longer worked for them. The officer's explained that they couldn't go to the suspects house and search it. It was very frustrating for my parents just because they knew with no doubt who had done it. Their items were never recovered however the woman has since been arrested for prescription fraud. The worst part was she had worked for them for many years and got mixed up with a man that was bad news.

-- Posted by ontheoutside on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 2:18 PM

It is a tuff call.Even when we really believe some one has taken from us and if the police went and searched someone's home for stolen stuff the chances are they have already pawned it and then they could sue.I hope these people can claim it on their insurance. Best of luck to them.

-- Posted by rebelrose on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 7:48 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.