Authorities accused of wrongly seizing thousands of cars in Wayne County

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The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is seizing thousands of cars and other property belonging to residents who have not committed crimes in violation of their constitutional rights, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday.

“Innocent property owners find themselves ensnared in this system,” the lawsuit asserts, leaving them to face the “permanent loss of their car or other property, even when someone else is alleged to have committed a crime without the property owner’s knowledge or consent.”

Take Melisa Ingram.

The 50-year-old single mother in Southfield, one of two metro Detroit plaintiffs named in the lawsuit and who made their case outside the Detroit courthouse, now rides a bus 40 minutes each way to work because authorities took her car, which she lent to her former boyfriend to look for a job. 

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