Suspect's bike is evidence

I thought it was interesting that the man on the cover of Tuesday's Mail Tribune tried to escape the police on a bicycle. That plan didn't work too well for him! I was wondering, since it appears he may be going to prison for a while, what is going to happen to his bicycle? It raises a bigger question: What happens to the property of offenders who are sent to prison who don't have family and friends in the area? Do the police have to keep this property until the offender is released?

— Donna S., Medford

Unless suspected bank robber Joe David Campos, 39, has someone to give his bike to until he is released, he stands to lose his ill-fated mode of transportation, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

"The bicycle in this case is evidence, so we will keep it until the case is adjudicated," Budreau said.

Campos is accused of attempting to rob the Key Bank Branch on East Main Street on Monday. He was caught moments afterward trying to pedal away on his black bicycle, police said.

Medford Police Department policy requires that a suspect who faces significant prison time should find someone to take any property seized by the police during an arrest.

Budreau said this is not an issue most of the time. Family and friends will take a suspect's property and hold it.

However, for those who don't have a third party to accept the property, it will be sold at auction or destroyed, depending on the value of the item, Budreau said.

"If it's an old backpack or something, we'll destroy it," Budreau said.

The department has only limited storage space, which is why it can't store a suspect's items for years until he or she is released from prison.

The proceeds from auctioned items go to the city of Medford, Budreau said.

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