Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S07-03-06
Seizure and Forfeiture of Vehicles, Vessels, and Aircraft
Issue Date:29 October 2014Effective Date:01 November 2014
Rescinds:01 January 2012 version
Index Category:Processing Property
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A. introduces the procedure for which all vehicles being seized for forfeiture review will have keys zip tied to the vehicle steering wheel prior to being towed.
  • B.continues responsibilities and procedures when vehicles are seized and forfeited pursuant to Illinois Compiled Statues (ILCS).
  • C.continues the completion of a Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report (CPD-34.347) when a vehicle is subject to seizure for forfeiture review.
    NOTE:
    A separate Vehicle Tow Report is not required when a vehicle is subject to seizure for forfeiture review.
  • D.introduces a revised Towed Vehicle Disposition Report (CPD-11.452).
II.Policy
Department members will investigate all suspicious circumstances surrounding vehicles, vessels, or aircraft to determine if seizure for forfeiture review is appropriate under the law and the seizure furthers an investigative or other appropriate police or public safety purpose.
III.General Information
  • A.When it has been determined that any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft has been used in the commission or attempted commission of any offense listed in this directive, members will complete a Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report (CPD-34.347) and forward all pertinent information to the unit tasked with the responsibility for a disposition. If a vehicle is also subject to impoundment for a municipal code violation or violations, members will also follow the procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Impoundment of Vehicles for Municipal Code Violations."
  • B.All vehicles seized for forfeiture review by the Department will be towed to Auto Pound 1.
IV.Vehicle Seizures Under 720 ILCS 5/36-1
(Item IV revised, 22 January 2009, AMFN No. 090198, seizures and towing of vehicles under 720 ILCS 5/36-1 is suspended until further notice)
  • A.Any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft may be seized if used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of, or attempt to commit, any of the offenses designated under 720 ILCS 5/36-1.
  • B.Additionally, under 720 ILCS 5/36-1, when a person discharges a firearm at another individual from a vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the owner of the vehicle and with the intent to cause death or great bodily harm to that individual and as a result causes death or great bodily harm to any individual, the vehicle shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
  • C.In all gambling (720 ILCS 5/28-1) cases, the Bureau of Organized Crime will be responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition form.
  • D.In all other offenses designated under 720 ILCS 5/36-1, the Bureau of Detectives will be responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition form.
V.Vehicle Seizures Under 720 ILCS 550 and 720 ILCS 570
  • A.Any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft may be seized if used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of, or attempt to commit, any of the following offenses prohibited by 720 ILCS 550 and 720 ILCS 570:
    SECTIONOFFENSE
    550/4(c)Possess More than 10 Grams Cannabis. (In this instance, a vehicle can only be seized for a felony. This offense is not a felony until the second conviction.)
    550/4(d),(e)Possess More than 30 grams Cannabis
    550/5(c)Manufacture / Deliver More than 10 grams Cannabis
    550/5(d),(e),(f), and (g)Manufacture / Deliver More than 30 grams Cannabis
    550/9Calculated Criminal Cannabis Conspiracy
    570/401Manufacture / Deliver Controlled Substance
    570/402Possession of Controlled Substance
    570/404Look-alike substances manufacture, distribution, advertisement or possession
    570/406(b)Illegal Distribution by Registrant
    570/407Delivery to Person Under 18 Years of Age
    NOTE:
    Refer to the Illinois Compiled Statues for a full description of the above offenses.
  • B.The Bureau of Organized Crime is responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition form on all 720 ILCS 550 and 720 ILCS 570 seizures.
VI.Vehicle Seizures Under 70 ILCS 2605/7g and 415 ILCS 5/44.1
  • A.Any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft may be seized if used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of, or attempt to commit, an offense under:
    • 1.70 ILCS 2605/7g, pertaining to the discharge of wastes by mobile or portable equipment, or
    • 2.415 ILCS 5/44.1, pertaining to violations of the Environmental Protection Act, regulations or permits, offenses, punishments, venue, and procedures.
  • B.The Bureau of Detectives is responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition form for all seizures under the provisions of these statutes.
VII.Vehicle Seizures Under 35 ILCS 130 and 135
  • A.Any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft may be seized if used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of, or attempt to commit, any of the following offenses prohibited by Chapter 35 if the vehicle contained more than ten cartons of cigarettes:
    SECTION OFFENSE
    130/21Sale of Forfeited Cigarettes or Vending Devices
    130/22Counterfeiting or Forging Stamps
    130/23Sale With Counterfeit Stamps
    130/24Sale of / Possession of Unstamped Packages
    130/26Acting as Distributor Without License
    135/28Forging or Counterfeit Stamps
    135/29Sale With Counterfeit Stamps
    135/30Sale Without Stamps
  • B.The Bureau of Organized Crime is responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition forms on all seizures under 35 ILCS 130 and 135 seizures.
VIII.Vehicle Seizures Under 625 ILCS 5/4-107(k)
  • A.Any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/8-4, an offense prohibited by 625 ILCS 5/4-103, "Offenses relating to motor vehicles and other vehicles felonies", including transporting of stolen vehicle or stolen vehicle parts, may be seized by any law enforcement agency and forfeited by an order of forfeiture issued by the circuit court, if the owner of the vehicle has been convicted of transporting stolen vehicles or stolen vehicle parts and the evidence establishes that the owners vehicle has been used in the commission of the offense.
  • B.The Bureau of Detectives is responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition forms on all section 4-107(k) seizures.
IX.Vehicle Seizures Under 625 ILCS 5/12-612
  • A.Procedures upon discovery of a false or secret compartment or "Trap", 625 ILCS 5/12-612
    • 1.Traps in vehicles can be rigged with an explosive device, set to explode when the compartment is opened by means other than that which is intended.
    • 2.Upon discovery of a trap in a vehicle, the discovering member will:
      • a.under no circumstances, open or attempt to open the trap compartment.
      • b.immediately notify a supervisor and request the supervisor respond to the scene.
    • 3.The supervisor responding to a scene will:
      • a.notify the 24 hour desk at  Bureau of Organized Crime and request that personnel trained to investigate vehicle trap compartments respond.
      • b.ensure that no attempts are made by district or unit personnel to open the trap compartment prior to the arrival of Bureau of Organized Crime personnel.
  • B.The Bureau of Organized Crime is responsible for completing and submitting the Towed Vehicle Disposition forms on all vehicles seized under 625 ILCS 5/12-612.
X.Vehicle Seizures Under 625 ILCS 5/11-204.1
  • A.Any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft may be seized if used in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-204.1 - aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer.
  • B.The Auto Pound Section is responsible for the post-tow processing of vehicles seized under 625 ILCS 5/11-204.1.
XI.Action for Forfeiture
The States Attorney may bring an action for forfeiture in a civil proceeding in the Circuit Court within the jurisdiction of the seizure under the provisions of:
  • A.720 ILCS 5/36, 720 ILCS 550/12, and 720 ILCS 570/505, regardless of the status or disposition of any related criminal case when the vehicle has been seized.
  • B.625 ILCS 5/4-107, if the owner of the vehicle has been convicted of transporting stolen vehicles or stolen vehicle parts and the evidence establishes that the owner's vehicle has been used in the commission of such offense.
XII.Preliminary Investigator Responsibilities
A Department member seizing a vehicle for forfeiture review will:
  • A.complete the proper case report ensuring:
    • 1.that the manner in which the vehicle was used in the commission of the offense is accurately described.
    • 2.to record the name of the member notified in the unit responsible for the follow-up investigation.
  • B.if the situation warrants that a physical arrest be made, complete an Arrest Report and complaints in accordance with the Department directive entitled, "Processing Persons Under Department Control." Department members will indicate on the Arrest Report:
    • 1.the disposition of the vehicle (e.g., towed, impounded, seized), and
    • 2.the vehicle descriptors including the year, make, model, license plate number and VIN, when available.
  • C.complete a Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report and:
    • 1.indicate on the report the following information:
      • a.the Records Division (RD) number of the case report of the incident which resulted in the seizure.
      • b.the provision that the vehicle is to be held for seizure for forfeiture review. If the appropriate statute is not preprinted on the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report, the reporting member will cite the statute and violation in the "Other ILCS Seizure" section of the report.
        NOTE:
        Department members will only indicate one (1) ILCS seizure violation when a vehicle is seized for forfeiture review.
      • c.complete all the information requested on the report. A computer check of the vehicle's VIN must be completed and the information recorded in the appropriate spaces on the report.
      • d.document, with specificity, the circumstances that support the request for the vehicle seizure for forfeiture review and include a detailed description of the offense committed in the narrative section.
      • e.the criminal offense for which the vehicle has been seizure for forfeiture review and the location of the offense if different from the location of seizure in "NARRATIVE" field.
    • 2.attach the vehicle keys and fob to the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report in all seizure cases using a sealed, small Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.101), indicating the following information:
      • a.Records Division (RD) number.
      • b.Date of the seizure.
      • c.Vehicle Information including the year, make, model, color, and license plate or vehicle identification number, as available.
      NOTE:
      Department members will only attach the vehicle's keys or alarm/remote key fobs to the report. Other keys not associated with the operation or security of the towed vehicle (e.g., house key, locker keys) will be returned to the person authorized to possess the keys.
    • 3.if the vehicle cannot be towed due to its size or shape, indicate the location of temporary impoundment in the "NARRATIVE" field.
    • 4.attest to the information contained in the report by signing and placing their star number on the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report.
    • 5.submit the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report and vehicle keys and fob to the district station supervisor for approval.
  • D.after receiving the approved Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report from the district station supervisor:
    • 1.request a tow via OEMC to have the vehicle towed to a holding facility controlled by the City of Chicago or its agents, and:
      • a.provide the OEMC dispatcher with the year, make, model, VIN, and state license plate number.
      • b.indicate whether the vehicle will "roll" (either two front or two rear wheels have inflated tires) or must be towed using a "flatbed" tow truck.
      • c.obtain an S&S towing number from the dispatcher. The S&S towing number will be recorded on the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report in the box provided.
        NOTE:
        The S&S towing number will be in addition to any required Records Division (RD) number, if applicable.
    • 2.notify:
      • 1.the Auto Pound Section; and
      • 2.the unit of investigative responsibility, as outlined in this directive.
    • 3.give the "Respondent" copy of the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report to the party responsible for the vehicle.
    • 4.give the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report and vehicle keys and fob to the district station supervisor who will ensure safekeeping until arrival of tow truck driver.
      NOTE:
      The "Tow" baskets have been provided by S & S, and will be clearly marked: CITY OF CHICAGO, DEPARTMENT OF STREETS AND SANITATION, POLICE TOWING.
    • 5.complete a Vehicle Document File and forward the file to the unit of investigative responsibility, as outlined in this directive, via Police Mail. The Vehicle Document File will include:
      • a.a copy of the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report.
        NOTE:
        If the vehicle is also subject to impoundment for a municipal code violation, Department members will also forward the Vehicle Document File consistent with the procedures and file routing requirements outlined in the Department directive entitled "Impoundment of Vehicles for Municipal Code Violations."
      • b.copies of any completed reports associated with the seizure investigation.
  • E.attend the necessary court hearing, when notified.
XIII.Additional Responsibilities
When notified by the district station supervisor that the S&S tow truck driver is at the station and prepared to complete the tow, the assigned member will report to the district station and:
  • A.receive a Department issued zip tie from the district station supervisor,
  • B.escort the Streets & Sanitation tow truck driver to the location of the seized vehicle,
  • C.upon arrival to the location of seized vehicle, zip tie the vehicle keys and fob to the vehicle steering wheel, leaving the vehicle unlocked.
XIV.District Station Supervisor Responsibilities
District station supervisor will:
  • A.review and, if appropriate, approve submitted Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Reports indicating a seizure.
  • B.ensure approved Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Reports are deposited in the marked "Tow" basket located in the district station.
    NOTE:
    secure Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Report and vehicle keys and fob until the arrival of S&S tow truck driver.
  • C.ensure the tow truck driver retrieves the Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Reports from the district station, signs the report, and leaves the "Requesting Unit" copy at the desk.
  • D.ensure seized vehicles that are gone on arrival (GOA) are processed accordingly.
  • E.upon arrival of S&S tow truck driver, ensure an available unit is assigned to escort the tow truck driver to the location of the seized vehicle and upon arrival to the location of the seized vehicle, zip tie the vehicle keys and fob to the vehicle steering wheel, with Department issued zip tie, leaving the vehicle unlocked.
XV.Follow-Up Investigative Unit Responsibilities
  • A.Units responsible for the follow-up investigation will receive Towed Vehicle Disposition forms from the Auto Pound Section Headquarters for each vehicle seized for forfeiture review. Seized vehicles are subject to being returned to the owner or otherwise disposed of according to law if the Towed Vehicle Disposition form and other necessary reports are not received at the Auto Pound Section within ten days.
  • B.Unit supervisors will:
    • 1.ensure that a follow-up investigator is designated to complete the Towed Vehicle Disposition form within ten days.
    • 2.review the completed Towed Vehicle Disposition form, ensuring that the disposition of the vehicle is justified and any request to hold the vehicle is necessary. The completed Towed Vehicle Disposition form containing the appropriate signatures of approval and all reports relative to the seizure for forfeiture review will be forwarded promptly to the Auto Pound Section Headquarters.
  • C.Members assigned as follow-up investigators for a case in which a vehicle has been seizure for forfeiture review will:
    • 1.promptly investigate to determine the identity of the registered vehicle owner and whether the seizure was warranted.
    • 2.submit a completed Towed Vehicle Disposition form, in quadruplicate, within ten days of the seizure, indicating one of the following determinations:
      • a.The seizure will not be be further pursued according to Department policy or other appropriate considerations and the vehicle should be returned to the owner, lien holder, or other secured party whose right of title or interest is of record; or
      • b.The seizure was warranted and the vehicle should be:
        • (1)held for ten days to allow for additional investigation.
        • (2)held pending a civil or criminal court disposition (720 ILCS 550 and 570 or 625 ILCS 5/4-107 cases only).
        • (3)turned over to state or county law enforcement agency for further action and/or auction.
    • 3.record a brief summary of the investigation, including the name of the person arrested or wanted for the offense for which the vehicle was seized and the reason for seizure in the remarks section of the Towed Vehicle Disposition form.
    • 4.attach two copies of all related case and supplementary reports to the Towed Vehicle Disposition form and submit these items for supervisory and command channel review when the vehicle is to be seized under 720 ILCS 5/36, 720 ILCS 550 and 570, or 625 ILCS 5/4-107.
  • D.If it is determined that the vehicle must be held for further investigation or as evidence in court, the follow-up investigator will document this need in the remarks section of the Towed Vehicle Disposition form and indicate what further investigative activity is necessary and the anticipated date of the completed investigation.
  • E.The follow-up investigator will record the name of the Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) who requested that the vehicle be held as evidence pending a judge's order, court order, or final court disposition, along with the ASA's assigned court branch, in the appropriate field.
  • F.When the investigative activity is completed or the vehicle is no longer needed as evidence, the assigned investigator will submit an additional Towed Vehicle Disposition form indicating what the disposition of the vehicle should be and attach the appropriate court order, when applicable.
XVI.Auto Pound Section Personnel Responsibilities
  • A.The Chief, Bureau of Administration, or designee has the final authority on matters relating to the disposition of vehicles seized and/or towed to auto pounds or other designated locations by Department members for non-narcotics related offenses. The final disposition on vehicles towed for narcotics and related offenses (such as 720 ILCS 550, 720 ILCS 570, and 625 ILCS 5/12-612) lies with the Chief, Bureau of Organized Crime or their designee.
  • B.The Chief, Bureau of Administration, or designee may return all vehicles seized for forfeiture under the provisions of this directive and according to law if the proper documentation is not received at the Auto Pound Section Headquarters within ten days after the vehicle was towed.
    • 1.Vehicles seized under 720 ILCS 5/36 will be promptly turned over to the Sheriff for civil forfeiture action by the States Attorney's Office.
    • 2.Vehicles seized under 720 ILCS 550 and 570, and 625 ILCS 5/4-107 will be retained at the appropriate auto pound until disposed of by a court or administrative order.
  • C.Auto Pound Section supervisors and members assigned to auto pounds will securely store and record all seized vehicles until released from Department control.
  • D.The Auto Pound Section will:
    • 1.process the inventories of vehicles seizured for forfeiture review.
    • 2.immediately forward the Towed Vehicle Disposition forms to the appropriate unit for follow-up investigation.
    • 3.process completed Towed Vehicle Disposition forms and attached case reports for distribution as follows:
      • a.Original - retained by the Chief, Bureau of Administration, or designee.
      • b.Copy to Pound 1 personnel.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were revised.)
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
14-088 RWN
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Bureau of Organized Crime - 24 Hour Desk
PAX 4300