LAPD = Thieving Jackasses
How can they get away with such an injustice? Easy, they just resort to the old tried and true technique of forfeiture. Though the Fox article does not make it clear, I would bet they are using the uglier of the two, In Rem forfeiture.
This is a Civil forfeiture levied against property, not a person. That is right, rather than having to go through the burdensome procedures of Criminal forfeiture, which generally involves a trial, they just say the property is "guilty" and take it on the spot. The burden is then on property owner to prove the property was unjustly stolen. This process can sometimes take years and cost more than the asset is worth.
Just to prove how cavalier the LAPD has become with individual rights, here is their response to the increased use of this technique:
"This is one more tool that the police can use to try and dissuade the people from engaging in conduct," said LAPD Cpt. Greg Myer. "And we're going to keep it up until some judge tells us we can't."
For any of you interested in the ongoing battle for property rights, I suggest you visit FEAR.org.