After all, you can’t load it in the back of a truck, or sneak it out after dark. But apparently motel theft isn’t as unlikely as you might think.
Caswellâ€™s lawyers say a comparable amount of drug activity happens at any budget motel, but the Motel Caswell was seen as an easier candidate for forfeiture because it is not part of a large chain. Itâ€™s also family-owned and mortgage-free, says Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, a Washington, D.C., libertarian public interest law firm representing Caswell.
While criminal forfeiture laws require someone to be convicted of a crime before property can be taken, civil forfeiture allows prosecutors to take properties without convicting anyone.
So what’s the deal, here, has the owner been involved in drug trafficking? No.
Have the police been repeatedly asking the owner to help them stop drug trafficking at the motel?
Caswell said he has tried repeatedly to get information from police about drug activity, but they always tell him they canâ€™t talk about investigations.
They just want to seize the motel from him, sell it, and pocket a cool million.
That’s how you steal a motel in broad daylight.