Harrisburg Fails to Pay Bill, Police Denied Access to Key Evidence

The more we learn about  the bizarre way police work, the less we trust them. Recently, the city of Harrisburg failed to pay its bill for a self-storage facility. It turns out the storage facility was being used by the Harrisburg police to house crucial criminal evidence.

Harrisburg Police's use of a self-storage facility has raised questions about the integrity of the evidence itself.
Harrisburg Police's use of a self-storage facility has raised questions about the integrity of the evidence itself.

On Tuesday, CBS 21 News reported that for several weeks cops and prosecutors were unable to retrieve evidence from a rented self-storage facility because Harrisburg city didn’t pay their bill.

Prosecutors needed evidence from that unit for a drug case and aggravated assault case. Because of the delayed bill payment, a Dauphin County Judge issued two subpoenas forcing the storage company to give access.

Sources say the city ignored past due notices and after 90 days the storage facility was within their rights to lock them out. In fact, if they went a step further by law they could have sold what was inside.

This causes a number of questions in my mind:

  1. How secure is this storage facility seeing that it is not under police surveillance?
  2. Do employees at the storage company have access to the evidence inside?
  3. If they do have access, (which it looks like they do seeing that they locked the police out) how can we re-create a reliable chain of custody for the evidence?
  4. Many forms of evidence can become tainted accidentally just by being mishandled, how can we be certain this did not occur?
  5. How can we be certain that employees at the storage facility have been properly vetted and there aren’t any pranksters amongst them who might find it funny to “mess around” with the evidence stored inside?

Remember, in criminal proceedings the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond  a reasonable doubt.  These developments have caused educated  citizens to reasonably doubt the integrity of the evidence itself.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

2 responses to “Harrisburg Fails to Pay Bill, Police Denied Access to Key Evidence”

  • I’m sure that the questions you pose are asked by any jury member wondering why a rented storage space is used for evidence. It would be embarrassing to testify to that fact! What kind of climate control or assurance that leakage, etc. from other units does not occur is in place? Pretty amazing….

    • I totally agree.The worst part is that they will not reveal which cases have items stored in this storage facility. If they refuse to disclose it voluntarily, then how can we know?

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