A fine line between unattended and abandoned property
Re: “Supreme Court ruling on property seizures affects Westside” (Argonaut, July 11).
Unattended vs. abandoned property… this could turn out to be a really big public safety question.
I agree that the homeless population faces numerous problems when it comes to maintaining control and possession of their personal property. But, I wonder if anyone involved in these court cases has considered the following scenarios when it comes to deciding where to draw the line between unattended or abandoned property, or if either should be allowed.
What of the mysterious cardboard box, piece of luggage, loaded shopping cart (which itself is stolen property), or pressure cooker in a bag left on a public sidewalk, freeway overpass, bus stop, subway station, or at the airport? How many breaking news pieces have we all seen where these items end up being disposed of by the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad?
Will the LAPD now have to wait some unknown amount of time to determine if some mysterious item in a public space at the airport or on the public sidewalk in front of your home is unattended or abandoned property?
Tell me, can all citizens safely leave their personal property in public places now? The last I heard, if you leave your car parked in the same place on the street for more than three days the city can have it towed. But all the shopping carts, many filled with items that were in your dumpster yesterday, that are now parked in the streets blocking parking spaces are somehow off-limits to seizure? Really?
If people are permitted to leave their personal property in public places and the police are not permitted to seize it until it has been deemed abandoned, then the courts may actually be telling terrorists that in Los Angeles they can feel safe in leaving their devices in public spaces.
The courts need to look at this issue again, with some consideration of public safety, before it’s open season on the entire country’s public spaces.
Thomas Carr
Los Angeles

Un‘bell’ievable service at bike shop
I recently wandered into Bikerowave on Venice Boulevard near Centinela Avenue in Mar Vista to perform some easy repairs and maintenance on my bike. A kind man by the name of Tom Soleto helped me.
I thought I was done, when he asked if I needed anything else. I had an old bell on my bike that I bought in Holland in 1968 when I was living there. I have put this bell on all of my bikes and it is very special to me.
It stopped working, and I thought that I would need to replace it with a newer, United States version. However, Tom took the bell apart and worked on it for about 20 minutes. He was so intent and impressed with the inner mechanisms of this antique bell and intent on making it work once again.
When I saw that it still did not work, I told him that I appreciated his help but I could see that my dear old bell was just ready to be put out to pasture. Tom insisted on taking it home to spend more time working on it. After about three weeks and some visits to an electric train shop for special parts, Tom fixed the bell!
He told me that after hearing my story of buying the bell in Holland in 1968 and using it on all my bikes, he wanted to do this for me. I was taken by Tom’s kindness and generosity.
I am so moved and just wanted to pass on this human interest story with the hope that we will all “pay it forward.”
Marisa Miller
Santa Monica

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