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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    4

    Default What Happes if You Buy Item That is Later Reported Stolen

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Calif.

    I bought a small item at a garage sale, along with a few other items, I pointed out the item in question ( it was on a table) and asked how much? he owner told me, i picked up the item, and along with a few other items, made my purchase. They did not issue a receipt, which is normal for garage/estate sales. Fast forward a month or so. I sold the item on ebay for a profit. Now I have been contacted by a detective telling me that item has been reported stolen. Can I be liable in any way for that? How can that be possible? What do I have to prove that I did not in fact, steal that item?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,047

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    If you have no cause to have suspected the item is stolen, you would not be criminally responsible. The issue is that you likely can have the item taken from you without any compensation. It would be up to you to sue the seller (and hope you could show he was not just an innocent holder in due course either).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,953

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    Quote Quoting laurielsk
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    What do I have to prove that I did not in fact, steal that item?
    Nothing. It's up to the authorities to prove that you stole it.

    Meantime I suggest you stop talking and consult an attorney. You have no idea how to handle a police interrogation and you're bound to say something that will incriminate you if you haven't already said it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    A few things: the owner of the item at the estate sale is the one who reported the item stolen to police. They searched ebay for that item, and found I had sold one not long after the sale. The detective is telling me to get it back from the person I sold it to. The original seller ( estate sale guy) is claiming I switched item for another, more expensive one. I pointed to the item, asked how much, he told and then I took it to the cashier lady and paid. I did not switch anything. No receipt was given.
    How would the original owner ever prove I stole it?

    A few things: the owner of the item at the estate sale is the one who reported the item stolen to police. They searched ebay for that item, and found I had sold one not long after the sale. The detective is telling me to get it back from the person I sold it to. The original seller ( estate sale guy) is claiming I switched item for another, more expensive one. I pointed to the item, asked how much, he told and then I took it to the cashier lady and paid. I did not switch anything. No receipt was given.
    How would the original owner ever prove I stole it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    Quote Quoting laurielsk
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    How would the original owner ever prove I stole it?
    How would we possibly know what the original owner has the knowledge or power to do?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,400

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    What was the item and how much did you pay for it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    I have a detective saying it could be turned over to the DA for possible consideration.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    Quote Quoting laurielsk
    View Post
    I have a detective saying it could be turned over to the DA for possible consideration.
    You have a detective trying to scare you into doing something. Let him turn it over to the DA. They will be hard pressed to prove anything and unless this is a very valuable item or you have a history of stealing things the DA won't care.

    If the cop thought there was enough to arrest you he would have.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    A small precision tool. $4. Sold for much more on ebay. The detective inferred I had to know it was worth more than that, which is what the owner claims. There was no sticker on it, I asked the price, and paid that price. There is certainly no crime there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,400

    Default Re: Responsible for Buying Item Later Reported Stole

    Quote Quoting laurielsk
    View Post
    A small precision tool. $4. Sold for much more on ebay. The detective inferred I had to know it was worth more than that, which is what the owner claims. There was no sticker on it, I asked the price, and paid that price. There is certainly no crime there.
    Just stop talking to the detective.

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