Card Readers Allow Oklahoma Highway Patrol To Seize Suspects’ Money

Police began using ERAD technology last month

Prepaid cards
Electronic Recovery and Access to Data card readers can seize funds from prepaid cards.Flickr user Miia Sample

State police in Oklahoma have begun using a device that can seize money on prepaid cards. Electronic Recovery and Access to Data (ERAD) card readers can also document and check the balance on credit, debit, or prepaid cards, and freeze funds.

Developed in 2012, the card readers have allowed state and local police to seize more than $1 million during field tests, the Department of Homeland Security said in a report last year. The devices have now been moved to the commercial market.

If you are suspected of criminal activity, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol can use ERAD to scan your cards and take money from prepaid cards without a warrant or arrest. The state police began using 16 of the readers last month.

"If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant John Vincent told News9.com.

Oklahoma State Senator Kyle Loveless opposes the use. News 9 reports that he is planning to introduce legislation to combat civil asset forfeiture, the practice under which assets can be seized without a conviction.

[via News9.com]