Occupy Denver: Belongings lost during protests treated as "found and abandoned property"

occupy denver belongings vertical.jpg
During the two days of police-attended demonstrations last weekend, the last thing most people at Occupy Denver were thinking about was their stuff. A week later, this has created confusion among many who lost their belongings, which were later collected by the Colorado State Patrol while officers worked to clean the area.

All in all, an estimated five truckloads of items were collected, and those items aren't yet ready to be returned to their owners, trooper Heather Cobler says.

Right now, the large mass of items belonging to occupiers has been moved to the Colorado State Patrol Academy in five trucks borrowed from the Department of Transportation. A handful of state troopers have been tasked with the tedious job of cataloging the entire collection, a process which is not expected to be completed until the end of next week, at the earliest. Right now, it's not the State Patrol's largest priority.

tents occupy.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Protesters can pick up their tents -- eventually -- but they cannot put them up.
"A few troopers have been dedicated to cataloging all of it, but we have to make sure our main focus is still on protecting those people still using the property across from the Capitol," says Cobler, a public information officer for the State Patrol. "It's important to make sure that we are doing that first, and all of this comes after that."

According to State Patrol guidelines, all of the items collected are being treated as found and abandoned property, which comes with a six-month period to pick them up once they are ready. The rules on that are exact, but those that regulate how the items are redistributed are a little stickier. Protesters are tasked with proving, to the best of their ability, that the items are theirs, a process that usually involves providing ID -- although exceptions can be made under certain circumstances.

"ID will be required in most cases, but it depends on if their ID is inside of their property," Cobler says.

Many protester do not have state identification, which is likely to make it more difficult for them to reclaim their belongings. "They will need to provide a detailed description of the item so that we can try to detail what's theirs and what isn't, whether that includes a receipt or some other kind of proof," Cobler explains.

During the busy events of the demonstration Thursday night and Friday morning, the State Patrol distributed notices telling protesters they could call to inquire about their property beginning at noon this past Tuesday. Those who have called since have been told that the State Patrol will return their calls when the property is ready. A specific date is still indefinite.

"When they left, they were told to take the property with them, and that's why anything that is left is being treated as found and abandoned under our guidelines," Cobler says.

What about those who were arrested and couldn't bring their belongings? In Cobler's words, "They had the chance to leave and take their property with them before that happened."

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver: City Council's Susan Shepherd calls protests most important thing in country."


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12 comments
154443
154443

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MelissaAnn0229
MelissaAnn0229

Well that's nice, but I'd really like my orange 10 gal water dispenser back that has my frigign' name and phone number on it.  I've called CSP about it twice; my husband called them again this morning about it.  We use it for a monthly project to feed the homeless.  They're well aware of this, and yet they can't seem to give property back to someone who is willing to go pick it up.  LAME.

Kcm2
Kcm2

Could you elaborate on many protesters do not have state I.D.s. Did you interview many? On the surface this seems unlikely. . .

One good thing, they didn't throw it all tin a trash compactor.

kmbog
kmbog

Big garage sale at the CSP...

job
job

Well you had ample warnings to leave and you refused. That's your fault. There are consequence to your illegal activities. Yes illegal. The park is owned by the taxpayers of Colorado not a fringe group such as yourselves. You abandoned your property and littered the park. So sorry Charlie.

job
job

State law requires I'd if your 18 or over. Sorry Charlie lmao. I think 6 months is generous, I'd destruction everything after 30 days.

MelissaAnn0229
MelissaAnn0229

Fair point, however, I was not on, nor anywhere near, the park; I was at home with my infant child.  I simply lent my personal property to a group who was out in the cold who was in need of warm drinks.  There is nothing illegal about generosity.  As for your assumption that our "fringe group" does not pay taxes for things such as Lincoln Park, I beg to differ.  Last time I checked, I pay my taxes, just as I've done for the last 19 years.  It'd behoove you to actually know your facts before passing judgment.  I'm fairly certain your self-righteous attitude can be checked anytime. 

stormbrewin
stormbrewin

You tea baggers are shameful. The group of people who bear your group's namesake committed a felony by tossing all that tea into the Boston harbor, and here you are berating a group of protesters for engaging in "illegal" activity. For shame.

MelissaAnn0229
MelissaAnn0229

Not a victim, Job, just a frustrated person who would like their personal property back.  I've taken the steps to retain my property; I am awaiting CSP to do their part and actually let me come pick it up.  Jesus is, indeed, Lord.  He is a compassionate one at that, and He, too, fought corruption.  Let me kindly point you toward the direction of the story of the tax collectors that Christ whipped out of the temple. 

I'll stop assuming you're a Tea Partier, and I ask that you stop assuming I'm a liberal.  You seem to have a lot of disdain in your heart.  Perhaps that is something you should reflect and pray about (I say this with sincerity, not sarcasm). 

I've said what I need to say.  Not going to turn this thread about property needing to be returned into a theoretical or political debate. 

job
job

well I guess the person to blame is the person you lent it too. Quit trying to be a victim. Except responsibility quit being a liberal. I know nothing about the 999 plan. I think its funny you guys assume I'm a tea partier. I don't support or condemn the tea party. I support the Jesus party. Every knee will bow every mouth will confess Jesus is lord.

MelissaAnn0229
MelissaAnn0229

So, enlighten me, Job.  Is the 9-9-9 plan that raises taxes on 84% of Americans the Tea Party's answer to "no new taxes"? 

job
job

Well for one the tea party was lowering taxes. No taxation without representation. Plus you trying to compare a movement with actual meaning With your unclear whining.

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