To confiscate means to take away temporarily for security or legal reasons. It implies an act by an authority upon one of less power. If you use your cell phone in class, the teacher might confiscate it for the day.
Confiscate derives from the Latin confiscat, meaning "to store in a chest, or give to the treasury." In school, if the boys begin throwing pencils at each other, the teacher will confiscate them and "store” them in her desk. She’ll return them, however, when the boys need to take the test. That’s assuming they have not blinded each other beforehand.