Victims of crime are getting compensation and bargain hunters are walking away from auction sites with gangster-modified vehicles after police seized a fortune in goods linked to crime this year.
New legislation aimed at putting money back in victims’ pockets is doing just that, officials said Thursday, after it was revealed $11.4 million in cars, cash and property have been seized in the past year.
Once dodgy items are sold, money is funnelled into a pool from which victims or victim-support agencies are compensated for direct or indirect losses, thanks to provisions in the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act.
This year, 11 properties were seized. Most were used in grow operations.
If a seized vehicle is determined stolen, it is usually returned to its rightful owner. If determined purchased illegally or with the proceeds from crime, it is auctioned.
Vehicle auctions are held every two weeks, said solicitor general spokeswoman Kim Misik yesterday, adding as long as a car passes a safety inspection, it could be driven away with secret compartments, bulletproof glass, security cameras or armoured plating.
Of 59 vehicles seized in Alberta, 48 were in Edmonton.
If items can’t be sold, they’re donated to charities, Misik said.
Roughly $328,000 has been paid out so far this year.