I don't know how this is even legal. Police taking stuff out of your cars for safe keeping?

According to the New Haven Register, New Haven police are sick and tired of residents not locking their cars, despite repeated warnings about how to prevent theft. So, they’re trying something new. They’ll take stuff out of your car and bring it to the police station for safe keeping. You want it back? Just claim it at the station.

What the what?

Is that legal?

According to the article, it’s one of the six exceptions to the requirement for a search warrant.

“It’s called a caretaker,” he said of the initiative he wants to implement this month. When it comes to a car, if there is something in plain view that is of value, and the car is unlocked, law enforcement can go into the car and retrieve that item and take it into the property (room) and place it where it is safe…”

The police won’t just take the stuff…they’ll run the plate number first, try to reach the owner, and then, if they can’t, they’ll take the stuff, lock the car, and leave a receipt.

From my point of view, this sounds all kinds of wrong. I would be upset if ANYONE went into my car without permission, took stuff, and then said, “Well, maybe you’ll lock your car next time!”