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COA affirms car forfeiture when owner arrested for iPhone theft

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A Wal-Mart worker who tried to steal four iPhones from the store at the end of her workday has no protection from forfeiture laws that allowed the state to take her car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

In Detona Sargent and One 1996 Buick, VIN 1G4AG55M3T6449095 v. State of Indiana, the Consolidated City of Indianapolis/Marion County, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, 49A02-1209-MI-708, the court affirmed a Marion Superior Court ruling that granted forfeiture of Detona Sargent’s 1996 Buick after she was convicted of Class D felony theft.

Sargent lent the car to a friend and asked the friend to be at Wal-Mart a few minutes before her work shift was over, but she was stopped and searched before she left work. The Court of Appeals ruled that Sargent’s intent to use the car to transport stolen property was sufficient cause for forfeiture.

“We hold that the State demonstrated a sufficient nexus between the underlying crime and the seized property. We also hold that neither Indiana’s statutory bankruptcy exemptions nor Article I, Section 22 of the Indiana Constitution required the trial court to exempt Sargent’s vehicle from forfeiture. Accordingly, we affirm the court’s forfeiture order,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the court.

 




 

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