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View Full Version : What to do if you found out gear you bought was stolen?


dangayle
11-12-2011, 12:45 AM
I just found out that some of my gear that I bought at a pawn shop was in fact stolen, and I know whose it was.

So, how does one resolve this? I feel like I should give it back, but I'd be out all the money I legitimately paid for it. It's a suck situation all around.

Thoughts?

stratpaulguy86
11-12-2011, 12:56 AM
That's a tough one. If you have a lot of money tied up into the gear, then it really puts you in a bad spot. You could always ask the original owner if he'd be willing to go 50/50 with you to help ease some of the financial hit. We'd all like to think someone would give us our stolen gear back if it was recovered, being that we were the one's who originally bought it. Then again, it's not really fair for you to lose the gear and the money...it then makes you feel like you were the one who got robbed! I believe in good karma man, so I'd probably work something out with the guy. Good luck

george nada
11-12-2011, 12:57 AM
if you bought it at a pawn shop it was a legit sale, on your end. the pawn owner should take the stuff back, refund your $$ and call the police.

hank57
11-12-2011, 01:01 AM
Often the police will make a pawnshop return gear to the rightful owner at the price they purchased it. See the shop doesn't want to be on the bad side of the police. In your case, contacting the police may work out fine. They would have the shop refund you the money you spent, and return it to the rightful owner at the price they paid the criminals. Then the police may be done or they may be able to go after the person who brought in the merchandise. If they have manpower for that.

You have a receipt for the purchase so you are not a criminal so it should workout for you. Also if the shop broke a law knowingly they should get in trouble.

dangayle
11-12-2011, 01:48 AM
If it were a recent issue, I think all of the above might work out, but I bought the stuff two years ago, and I don't have any clue where the receipts might be. (I do keep those for any purchase like this, but I've also moved twice since then.)

I'll definitely work it out with the guy though. How ever it works out, I want to do right by him.

R3deemed
11-12-2011, 01:52 AM
Know that you know it's stolen and are still possessing it puts you in violation of the law. IMO you're obligated to return it ASAP.

Asking the original owner to go 50/50 is classless to me. Ask him to buy his stuff back? Am I missing something? The only people making out here is the crook and the pawn shop.

Advise the police and attempt to get your money back from the shop.

(This is why I don't buy from pawn shops ~ much of the items are stolen.)

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Forum Runner

The Kid
11-12-2011, 01:58 AM
Notify the police. They can work it out with the pawn shop. I wouldn't feel right about playing an instrument that I knew was stolen. YMMV.

Swain
11-12-2011, 02:22 AM
Yeah, Pawn Shops are required to photocopy the I.D. of anyone who they buy something from.

So, either way you should report it to the police. They can deal with the individual or the pawn shop you bought it all from. And eventually, you'll get your money back.

After calling the police, contact the rightful owner, and let them be aware of the fact that their gear has been recovered. Because, they may also have useful info that will speed the process along. And, it may keep them from buying more gear when their original gear is being returned to them.

tonejunky
11-12-2011, 02:22 AM
Now that's what I call relic'd.

I bet if you kindly give the stuff back to the original owner without asking for any money, that he will then kindly give you some compensation.

gixxerrock
11-12-2011, 02:25 AM
Really sucks for you, but IMO the right thing to do is give it back. Hopefully the police will lean on the pawn shop and they will do the right thing.

Average Joe
11-12-2011, 03:39 AM
regardless of the law I think i would have a hard time justifying keeping stuff in a situation like that. Even if it sucks financially I would feel obligated to give it back. I do hope you get your money back though

monsta
11-12-2011, 04:16 AM
Whatever you do, however you do it, it must end with the person getting their stolen gear back. I just hope you won't be out of pocket.

partsocaster
11-12-2011, 05:33 AM
My question would be back at you, what would you want you to do? If I bought YOUR stolen guitar at a pawn shop and found out it was stolen, I think you would want me to bring it back, right?

Karma has away of rewarding the right choices, give it back, that's what I would do, and call the cops.

twinrider1
11-12-2011, 06:49 AM
Don't just give it right back to the proper owner. Technically, it's evidence. I would go through the police. It's the best chance you have of getting your money back from the pawn shop.

Rhomco
11-12-2011, 07:11 AM
Disclosed to the whole wide world that you know you have stolen goods, you would be well advised to settle the matter. Climbing off my hign horse now.

Nelson89
11-12-2011, 07:18 AM
Personally i'd contact the original owner, and work out some kind of arrangement with him with the police present. That way the police know the stuff has been given back and they can further investigate. The original owner might feel the need to offer you compensation, but to be honest, i don't think you should demand compensation from them, when it comes to the gear, it's rightfully theirs, when it comes to the money, it's not them that owe it to you, it's the pawn shop, so i'd take my gripe up with them for the money.

Always a sticky situation if it means you're out a bit of money though...if it were me, i'd give it back no questions asked, but i'd definitely try to get my end of the money back from that pawn shop...in Australia you're required to keep receipts for 5 years for tax purposes, so it's likely they still have a record of the transaction if you no longer have the receipt.

Guitarnotsoguru
11-12-2011, 07:20 AM
Are you saying you DIDN'T know who it belonged to BEFORE you bought it and NOW you do????? Hmmmmm

MikeVB
11-12-2011, 07:23 AM
Are you saying you DIDN'T know who it belonged to BEFORE you bought it and NOW you do????? Hmmmmm

I don't think that's odd or suspicious.

Crowbar
11-12-2011, 08:05 AM
Yeah gotta give it back. That guy got ripped off and so did you.
I agree with the law on this one, "what did you know and when did you know it?" this is your choice to be a criminal or not. {reminds me of Paterno}

I bought my LesPaul Standard pretty cheap, somtimes I wonder.......

BarryE
11-12-2011, 08:26 AM
One thing to consider , if the guy received insurance money then it does not belong to him, it belongs to the insurance company, so if the police are involved so does the insurance company. that can be handled but if you sell it back to the owner for a great discount, the 50/50 split then the owner has in essence bought another guitar.

I had this happen earlier in the year where a guitar that was stolen from me was found in NY. In my case the owner contacted the pawn shop he bought it from, they reimbursed him and I was returned the guitar. I had contacted my insurance company and reimbursed them the money I had received to remove their claim on it and we we contacted the police to update their records (the case is still open for other reasons)

whiteop
11-12-2011, 08:53 AM
if you bought it at a pawn shop it was a legit sale, on your end. the pawn owner should take the stuff back, refund your $$ and call the police.

If you knew the stuff was "in fact" stolen why did you buy it? If you knew the owner you should have contacted him.

The trouble is many of the pawn shops know the stuff is stolen and even record the serial numbers inaccurately so that the police departments that check their inventory daily won't identify it as stolen property. I've worked several cases over the years where stolen property was concealed this way. One time I called a contact at one of the pawn shops and he confirmed that they had one of the stolen items (a high end camera) and matched it by the serial number. I went in to see if it was there and asked the manager (not the contact) and he said nope we don't have it and I told him I had verbally confirmed it was in his store and had to push the issue and let him know that if he intentionally helped deprive the owner of his propert that he was an accessory to the theft or burglary. The camera came out of the back in mins. I hate thieves. Worst scum of the earth there is. I bet if I ran that the managers criminal history it would have come back with more than a few priors.

dangayle
11-12-2011, 02:23 PM
If you knew the stuff was "in fact" stolen why did you buy it? If you knew the owner you should have contacted him.


I didn't know it was stolen. I just found out.

Clean Channel
11-12-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm really interested in this thread. I've had so many friends lose gear to theft; seems every few months it happens. I had another close friend lose a rare and vintage guitar just three days ago.

People who steal from musicians are the scum of the earth.

Coincidentally, right now I know a guy who just found a guitar that was stolen from him back in the late 1990s. It looks like the current 'owner' is going to be unwilling to return the guitar unless my friend pays him (not sure of this, it's all a little preliminary right now).

If that does turn out to be the case, it'll blow my mind. I thought the fella would return it once my friend proved he was the rightful owner. I'll be sure to post back how it all plays out.

The current 'owner' is very involved in the music biz, and if he doesn't return the guitar, I'll be pretty tempted to publicly shame him for his selfishness.

gillman royce
11-12-2011, 03:31 PM
If it were a recent issue, I think all of the above might work out, but I bought the stuff two years ago, and I don't have any clue where the receipts might be. (I do keep those for any purchase like this, but I've also moved twice since then.)

I'll definitely work it out with the guy though. How ever it works out, I want to do right by him.

That being the case you need to contact the police first. Get them involved and on your side . You are also a victim here through no fault of your own as the pawn shop is required by law to run down the gear - that's why they hold it for two weeks.The pawn shop should have a copy of the transaction for their tax records. Don't wait for the police to come to your door.

Crowbar
11-12-2011, 04:18 PM
A side note to this story,

I write the serial numbers of all my good stuff down in my phone book. Also have my name written on a lot of it in out of the way spots like inside the truss rod cover, behind the tube sheild etc.

Griz
11-12-2011, 06:26 PM
if you bought it at a pawn shop it was a legit sale, on your end. the pawn owner should take the stuff back, refund your $$ and call the police.

:agree

If the pawn shop won't take it back, then you might have to contact the police yourself. Hopefully you have receipts.

FlyingVBlues
11-12-2011, 07:27 PM
I just found out that some of my gear that I bought at a pawn shop was in fact stolen, and I know whose it was.

So, how does one resolve this? I feel like I should give it back, but I'd be out all the money I legitimately paid for it. It's a suck situation all around.

Thoughts?


If he filed an issurance claim after the theft occurred then the gear in question actually belongs to the insurance company. That complicates things in terms of returning the gear to the righful owner. I would try to find your receipts from the pawn shop before taking any action so there is no question that you obtained the gear legally.

FVB

Rockledge
11-12-2011, 09:58 PM
I am thinking you should confront the pawn shop owner and tell him you are going to go to the detectives that handled the case with it.
I am thinking it possible that if you call the cops they will just confiscate the gear and leave you with the legal obligation to take action against the pawn shop owner as a civil matter.
Also, find your receipts before you do anything. Be able to prove that you legitimately purchased the items from a licensed shop.

Also don't forget that as long as you do nothing, whoever snatched the stuff is immune and free to snatch somebody elses gear. Could be yours he snatches next time.

bsuite
11-12-2011, 10:24 PM
Disclosed to the whole wide world that you know you have stolen goods, you would be well advised to settle the matter. Climbing off my hign horse now.

Wow! I didn't know the whole wide world were TGP members.

Nelson89
11-12-2011, 10:41 PM
Wow! I didn't know the whole wide world were TGP members.

True...but its a public forum and you don't need to be a member to read it...just a technicality there...

theatomicjeff
11-12-2011, 10:51 PM
You could always ask the original owner if he'd be willing to go 50/50 with you to help ease some of the financial hit.
:facepalm:huh:omg

thewhit
11-12-2011, 11:56 PM
Go through the pawn shop rather than around them. Going directly to the cops could strain the relations the pawn shop has with the them but they can be perceived as doing the right thing and everyone makes out if you let them take the lead.

Remember the pawn shop has insurance for this kind of thing so just back the deal up in reverse order and you'll be fine.

27sauce
11-13-2011, 12:18 AM
At this point the pawn shop is legally out of the situation. They bought and sold this stuff legally. The last people that want stolen items in a pawn shop, is the pawn shop.

Was there a police report made? The local police department is responsible for picking up a copy of every transaction that the pawn shop makes and running it against theft reports. Many times this doesn't happen, or it doesn't happen in a timely manner.

The problem is, if you go to the police, you will likely not get your money back and your friend wont likely get his gear back.

You have the best chance of breaking even in this situation, if you are able to return it. Just dont say you're returning it because its stolen, they wont take it back, I wouldn't.

27sauce
11-13-2011, 12:24 AM
That being the case you need to contact the police first. Get them involved and on your side . You are also a victim here through no fault of your own as the pawn shop is required by law to run down the gear - that's why they hold it for two weeks.The pawn shop should have a copy of the transaction for their tax records. Don't wait for the police to come to your door.

Its the police departments job to find out if merchandise is stolen, not the pawn shops. The pawn shop is legally obligated to only accept valid I.D. and take down model and serial numbers, thats it. Its up to the cops to find the stolen stuff.

R3deemed
11-13-2011, 02:45 AM
At this point the pawn shop is legally out of the situation. They bought and sold this stuff legally. The last people that want stolen items in a pawn shop, is the pawn shop.

Was there a police report made? The local police department is responsible for picking up a copy of every transaction that the pawn shop makes and running it against theft reports. Many times this doesn't happen, or it doesn't happen in a timely manner.

The problem is, if you go to the police, you will likely not get your money back and your friend wont likely get his gear back.

You have the best chance of breaking even in this situation, if you are able to return it. Just dont say you're returning it because its stolen, they wont take it back, I wouldn't.

Wrong. They don't to *know* it's stolen and they don't want to get *caught* with stolen items. It could semantics for sure, but if you took the stolen stuff out of the equation, no more pawn shops.

The store owners know it, and so do the people that frequent the stores.

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Forum Runner

Scumback Speakers
11-13-2011, 05:19 AM
This happened to a friend awhile back, here's the deal.

His old Gibson acoustic was stolen years before. He had insurance, he got paid market value for it. Years later it turns up in an eBay or some other online ad (my buddy sees it) and the store selling it is contacted about the police report, etc.

He also calls the local police dept to the store, and the original police department for the report. The store has to cough up the guitar to the insurance company who is the legal owner since they paid my buddy off when it was stolen.

Of course now it's worth a butt load more money. Gruhn Guitars does an appraisal and it turns out that it's now worth about 8 times what he was paid for it years ago.

So his insurance company gets it back, he has to pay them the $$$ he originally got for the claim, but winds up with a guitar worth 8 times what it was when it was stolen.

The store that tried to sell it has to go back to the guy they got it from, and pursue him for the money he was paid for the stolen guitar. Then he has to pay the store back (or go to jail) and he gets to go down the chain of custody/owners/thieves to get his money back...and so on and on.

To the OP... the right thing to do is:

A) Notify the police about the stolen gear. You're in violation of possessing stolen property (assuming it was reported to the police), by the way, so keeping it makes you an accessory to the original crime.

B) Tell the police where you got it, when, how much you paid, description, etc. Start looking for your receipt from the pawn shop NOW.

C) If you are certain you know who the owner is, and they can positively identify the gear (serial numbers, identifying marks, etc), let them know you have to involve the police before you return it to cover your ass on the "receiving stolen property" charge.

D) You'll have to get your money back from the pawnshop. They're going to pay you because they don't want to be guilty of "selling stolen property". They in turn will hunt down the person they bought it from. The person who sold it to them could be another victim just like you, and might not have known. He'll have to pay back the pawnshop, or they'll sue him and press charges.

It's basically a reverse domino effect.

Good luck...and don't wait to do this, do it now.

RANT MODE ON:

For those who think it's cool to contact the original owner to negotiate a cash buy back scenario, you are seriously effed up.

:spit

Do the right thing. Don't make the original owner pay to get back what was stolen from him! Geez, put yourself in his shoes for a minute. Would you pay to get back what was stolen from you? For Pete's sake, of course you wouldn't. Sometimes these threads make me wonder what kind of ethics/morals people have. You should be ashamed for even posting comments such as those.

I was ripped off for every piece of gear I had in 1993 except my 68 LP Custom and my Randall RG-80 combo. It was over $20k in gear. I never got any of it back, even though some of it was rare (20th Anniversary Marshall stack for example), unique, etc. If someone came up to me to try and sell it back to me once they knew it was mine, I'd kick their ass on the spot, then call the cops to have them taken to jail.

RANT MODE OFF

screamtone
11-13-2011, 06:10 AM
Can we assume that the previous owner of said stolen gear called the police and filed a report?

How did you find out it was stolen? Not sure about the law where you are, but here, pawn shops are required by law to hold all purchases and forfeited merchandise for ten days while the police cross-reference serial numbers, etc. against their database of things that have been reported stolen (I know this because my dad owned a pawn shop when I was a kid, and my old roommate manages one). If it made it through the police hold and ended up on the floor, there is something weird going on, as in, the previous owner didn't call the police, they didn't have the serial number, or it happened so long ago that the regular computerized system didn't catch it... or it isn't stolen.

Someone may have a receipt for buying something, but without a police report, there's pretty much no way they can say "that's mine" and make you give it back. If you found it it really is their gear but they don't have a police report AND you return it to said owner, you'll never get your funds back from the pawn shop.

Smakutus
11-13-2011, 06:40 AM
I'd like to read about how you know this guitar is the guys for sure etc..

Thanks,
Jeff

27sauce
11-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Wrong. They don't to *know* it's stolen and they don't want to get *caught* with stolen items. It could semantics for sure, but if you took the stolen stuff out of the equation, no more pawn shops.

The store owners know it, and so do the people that frequent the stores.

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Forum Runner

Wow, you have absolutely no clue.

27sauce
11-13-2011, 10:36 AM
Can we assume that the previous owner of said stolen gear called the police and filed a report?

How did you find out it was stolen? Not sure about the law where you are, but here, pawn shops are required by law to hold all purchases and forfeited merchandise for ten days while the police cross-reference serial numbers, etc. against their database of things that have been reported stolen (I know this because my dad owned a pawn shop when I was a kid, and my old roommate manages one). If it made it through the police hold and ended up on the floor, there is something weird going on, as in, the previous owner didn't call the police, they didn't have the serial number, or it happened so long ago that the regular computerized system didn't catch it... or it isn't stolen.

Someone may have a receipt for buying something, but without a police report, there's pretty much no way they can say "that's mine" and make you give it back. If you found it it really is their gear but they don't have a police report AND you return it to said owner, you'll never get your funds back from the pawn shop.

:agree

Clean Channel
11-13-2011, 10:38 AM
RANT MODE ON:

For those who think it's cool to contact the original owner to negotiate a cash buy back scenario, you are seriously effed up.

:spit

Do the right thing. Don't make the original owner pay to get back what was stolen from him! Geez, put yourself in his shoes for a minute. Would you pay to get back what was stolen from you? For Pete's sake, of course you wouldn't. Sometimes these threads make me wonder what kind of ethics/morals people have. You should be ashamed for even posting comments such as those.

I was ripped off for every piece of gear I had in 1993 except my 68 LP Custom and my Randall RG-80 combo. It was over $20k in gear. I never got any of it back, even though some of it was rare (20th Anniversary Marshall stack for example), unique, etc. If someone came up to me to try and sell it back to me once they knew it was mine, I'd kick their ass on the spot, then call the cops to have them taken to jail.

RANT MODE OFF

:agree

reaiken
11-13-2011, 11:18 AM
It doesn't always work out that well with the police, especially in CA.

As some of you may know, our entire booth of equipment got stolen at NAMM in Anaheim several years ago. Since it got stolen while in NAMM's hands (an inside job, right off the dock), our insurance wouldn't cover it, and the convention center union goons were apparently not liable somehow.

Fast forward three years, a guy calls me up about an amp he just bought and I recognize the serial number as one of the stolen ones. I find out where he bought it from, and send a friend over to the pawn shop and there is all my stuff - rare prototype amps heads, 4x12 cabs, etc. I call the police and sic 'em on the guy, and the officer investigates and basically says he doesn't think the guy knew it was stolen, and that in CA, if a pawn shop owner waits 3 years before selling it, he owns the stuff, so all I can do is buy my equipment back at whatever price the weasel wants for it.

I called the pawn shop owner and he promised to do something for me (an honest pawn shop owner? Yeah, right.). It's been a few years now, and I haven't seen anything, so I'm not holding my breath on that one.

The only good side to the story is that the thief, a convention center employee, is in jail (on other charges, not from stealing my stuff). Unfortunately, the union rules won't let you move your own equipment in or out of the convention center, so I don't know if I will ever do another winter NAMM show. NAMM was of no help at all after the theft, nor was the Anaheim convention center.

Remember, when you buy stolen gear, there is someone, somewhere, who got royally screwed.

Randall Aiken

Clean Channel
11-13-2011, 12:46 PM
It doesn't always work out that well with the police, especially in CA.

As some of you may know, our entire booth of equipment got stolen at NAMM in Anaheim several years ago. Since it got stolen while in NAMM's hands (an inside job, right off the dock), our insurance wouldn't cover it, and the convention center union goons were apparently not liable somehow.

Fast forward three years, a guy calls me up about an amp he just bought and I recognize the serial number as one of the stolen ones. I find out where he bought it from, and send a friend over to the pawn shop and there is all my stuff - rare prototype amps heads, 4x12 cabs, etc. I call the police and sic 'em on the guy, and the officer investigates and basically says he doesn't think the guy knew it was stolen, and that in CA, if a pawn shop owner waits 3 years before selling it, he owns the stuff, so all I can do is buy my equipment back at whatever price the weasel wants for it.

I called the pawn shop owner and he promised to do something for me (an honest pawn shop owner? Yeah, right.). It's been a few years now, and I haven't seen anything, so I'm not holding my breath on that one.

The only good side to the story is that the thief, a convention center employee, is in jail (on other charges, not from stealing my stuff). Unfortunately, the union rules won't let you move your own equipment in or out of the convention center, so I don't know if I will ever do another winter NAMM show. NAMM was of no help at all after the theft, nor was the Anaheim convention center.

Remember, when you buy stolen gear, there is someone, somewhere, who got royally screwed.

Randall Aiken

That's a brutal story. I can't imagine standing in a pawn shop in front of my own stolen gear and being told by the law that they can do nothing to recover it.

Probably not a coincidence that the pawn shop started selling your stuff after the three year period had passed. Looks like these slimy pawn shop guys know all the tricks.

Smakutus
11-13-2011, 01:25 PM
A friend of mine had a bunch of stuff stolen out of his pole barn a few years ago.. Not long after I'm at a a pawn shop I go to quite a bit and my guy there says.. "Hey I got some stuff you'll like!"

Boom out comes my friends black face Super and the 2-10" amp they made back then.. I'm like, these were stolen from a friend of mine.. The guy looks around the shop and shushes me. He quietly tells me to call my friend and tell him to call the state police ASAP and tell them he saw his amps here and to not say anymore about these amps.. go now.

My friend ended up getting the amps and a couple other things back from them but in Michigan you have to pay the shop what they paid the crook for them, which wasn't a whole lot but still..

Some woman sold them to the shop and they went after her but she got off..

Later my guy there said those amps would have moved to another pawn shop in another city and been long gone.

Jeff

Trebor Renkluaf
11-13-2011, 03:09 PM
The pawn shop should be out the money, not you. I had a guitar that was stolen, it ended up being pawned, the shop waited the 30 days, sold it, got notification from the police it was hot, refunded the guys money the sold it too and returned it to me.

Hacksaw
11-13-2011, 03:52 PM
RANT MODE ON:

For those who think it's cool to contact the original owner to negotiate a cash buy back scenario, you are seriously effed up.

:spit

Do the right thing. Don't make the original owner pay to get back what was stolen from him! Geez, put yourself in his shoes for a minute. Would you pay to get back what was stolen from you? For Pete's sake, of course you wouldn't. Sometimes these threads make me wonder what kind of ethics/morals people have. You should be ashamed for even posting comments such as those.

I was ripped off for every piece of gear I had in 1993 except my 68 LP Custom and my Randall RG-80 combo. It was over $20k in gear. I never got any of it back, even though some of it was rare (20th Anniversary Marshall stack for example), unique, etc. If someone came up to me to try and sell it back to me once they knew it was mine, I'd kick their ass on the spot, then call the cops to have them taken to jail.

RANT MODE OFF

It was the funnest choice in the poll that's missing now. :D That's all. And in my effed up opinion was the one that would stir up the most crap!

A buddy of mine located an amp here in Tulsa that was stolen from a show. He picked up the amp and I shipped it back. The store sold it back to the owner at cost out of pocket. We shipped it to the owner on our dime. ;)

roknfnrol
11-13-2011, 04:05 PM
The tulsa cops never intervened when my gear was stolen. I had to buy my amp back from the guitar store at the price they paid for it.

Hacksaw
11-13-2011, 04:07 PM
The tulsa cops never intervened when my gear was stolen. I had to buy my amp back from the guitar store at the price they paid for it.


HI!!,

dangayle
11-13-2011, 09:30 PM
The guy whose gear was stolen filed a police report, and even went to the specific pawn shop to notify them of it. They hadn't seen it, or at least hadn't seen it yet.

Fast forward 2 years, and I put the gear on craigslist with nice photos and even a YouTube vid. The original owner saw the ad, and set up a meeting with me to "purchase" the gear. He was actually attempting to catch a thief, but I was honest with him about it. Turns out, we're both friends of a friend, who vouched for me.

That's how I know. I offered it back to him free, but he turned me down. That still leaves me with the legal issue though.

roknfnrol
11-13-2011, 09:53 PM
HI!!,

It was a while back. Hacksaw must have been one of the amazing gear pagers that sent it back to me. Thank you!

kingsxman
11-13-2011, 10:27 PM
That's how I know. I offered it back to him free, but he turned me down. That still leaves me with the legal issue though.

I'd say your done then if you offered it to him for free....and he didnt want it.

dancehall
11-13-2011, 11:09 PM
Asking the original owner to go 50/50 is classless to me. Ask him to buy his stuff back? Am I missing something? The only people making out here is the crook and the pawn shop.

I disagree. DEMANDING 50/50 is classless but it's a totally fair request to make. He bought a guitar, it was stolen. You bought a guitar, you're forced to part with it because it was stolen. You've each been boned equally. Why not share the brunt of the boning equally and make it easier on both of you? I'd rather pay half the price of my gear over again than lose it forever.

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 02:11 AM
I disagree. DEMANDING 50/50 is classless but it's a totally fair request to make. He bought a guitar, it was stolen. You bought a guitar, you're forced to part with it because it was stolen. You've each been boned equally. Why not share the brunt of the boning equally and make it easier on both of you? I'd rather pay half the price of my gear over again than lose it forever.

Totally disagree, and so will the police. This MIGHT be an option under other circumstances, but not when a police report has been filed.

Can't remember exactly what term/law/phrase is applied here, but I'm pretty sure it's still a variation on the "receiving stolen property" avenue.

And frankly, the original owner is now getting boned a second time. The first time he paid 100%, but now you're asking him to pay 50% again, while you've only lost 50% of what you paid. Do the math.

Looks to me like he's paying way more than you are.

Even requesting that the original owner pay any amount (other than potentially shipping) to get his stolen gear back is just plain wrong, and may still be criminal. It's certainly ethically wrong in my book.

DC1
11-14-2011, 02:28 AM
Totally disagree, and so will the police. This MIGHT be an option under other circumstances, but not when a police report has been filed.

Can't remember exactly what term/law/phrase is applied here, but I'm pretty sure it's still a variation on the "receiving stolen property" avenue.

And frankly, the original owner is now getting boned a second time. The first time he paid 100%, but now you're asking him to pay 50% again, while you've only lost 50% of what you paid. Do the math.

Looks to me like he's paying way more than you are.

Even requesting that the original owner pay any amount (other than potentially shipping) to get his stolen gear back is just plain wrong, and may still be criminal. It's certainly ethically wrong in my book.

Hey wait! I'm confused... I thought you were a scumbag?? Such great moral reasoning.


:bonk

:omg



dc

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 02:50 AM
Hey wait! I'm confused... I thought you were a scumbag?? Such great moral reasoning.


:bonk

:omg



dc


I know, I know...WTF is wrong with me, huh? Frigging dinosaur ethics & morals I seem to run with...silly, aren't they?

DC1
11-14-2011, 02:58 AM
I know, I know...WTF is wrong with me, huh? Frigging dinosaur ethics & morals I seem to run with...silly, aren't they?

The only ones worth having my friend...


:beer


dc

Scooter Burbank
11-14-2011, 03:31 AM
And frankly, the original owner is now getting boned a second time. The first time he paid 100%, but now you're asking him to pay 50% again, while you've only lost 50% of what you paid. Do the math.

Looks to me like he's paying way more than you are.


Except (unless I'm missing something here) the original owner gets the stuff, right? So, true, if a 50/50 agreement is made, he's paid 150%, but he gets the goods. You've now paid 50% for doing absolutely nothing wrong, and you get nothing for it. So, you have also been victimized here. In fact, you've been stolen from now. So I don't think it's quite as ethically black and white as you're making it out to be, Mr. Scumback. Someone's getting screwed any which way because these items have now been sold twice, but they're only worth the value of being sold once.

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 03:53 AM
Except (unless I'm missing something here) the original owner gets the stuff, right? So, true, if a 50/50 agreement is made, he's paid 150%, but he gets the goods. You've now paid 50% for doing absolutely nothing wrong, and you get nothing for it. So, you have also been victimized here. In fact, you've been stolen from now. So I don't think it's quite as ethically black and white as you're making it out to be, Mr. Scumback. Someone's getting screwed any which way because these items have now been sold twice, but they're only worth the value of being sold once.

Right, the guy who bought the goods from someone who stole them and resold them is getting screwed. It sucks. It's called doing your due diligence when buying something used. You weren't stolen from at all. You bought stolen goods from someone who stole them from the original owner. You got screwed by an unscrupulous seller that you bought from.

Let's try it another way...maybe it will make more sense.

A child is kidnapped.

Years later that child is found by the birth parents, you have that child it turns out.

You adopted the child through an illicit adoption agency (or whatever means), the paperwork looked legit. The people you got the child from billed you for letting you adopt the child, fraudulently, as you come to find out years later.

Through no fault of your own, you now know you have someone's child illegally.

Are you going to negotiate with the birth parents for a fee for them to get their child back from you? Pretty sure the police and the courts are going to disagree with you on that, and you'll wind up in jail. Once again, I believe it's being an accessory after the fact of the original crime.

Either way you look at it, you received something stolen, right? And once again, put yourself in the shoes of the people who were ripped off first, then answer.

In my book, it's pretty black and white.

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 04:03 AM
The only ones worth having my friend...


:beer


dc


Yep. You either have them or you don't. A lot of this has been made abundantly clear to me in recent months. ;)

:beer back at you.

Scooter Burbank
11-14-2011, 04:12 AM
Right, the guy who bought the goods from someone who stole them and resold them is getting screwed. It sucks. It's called doing your due diligence when buying something used. You weren't stolen from at all. You bought stolen goods from someone who stole them from the original owner. You got screwed by an unscrupulous seller that you bought from.

What kind of due dilligence do you recommend? I guess I wrongly assumed that if I bought something in a store, no due dilligence is necessary.

At the very least you agree that you're getting screwed. This is what I was aiming to highlight -- that there is inherently more than one victim in this type of thing.


Let's try it another way...maybe it will make more sense.

It made sense from the beginning, thanks.

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 05:52 AM
What kind of due dilligence do you recommend? I guess I wrongly assumed that if I bought something in a store, no due dilligence is necessary.

As has been made clear by this thread, unless you buy a product new from an authorized dealer (hell even then it's not 100%), you need to do your homework.

At the very least you agree that you're getting screwed. This is what I was aiming to highlight -- that there is inherently more than one victim in this type of thing.

No question about it.

22 years ago I bought a house. Four years after I bought it I was robbed of all my gear during a robbery while I was at work.

During the investigation by the police, etc, I found some odd things about the house itself. That led to a lawsuit for fraud. Turns out there were some falsified home upgrades done without permits, and not built to code. I sued the seller. I proved fraud in court, the only problem was that the seller blamed the guy he bought it from...who was deceased. I couldn't collect from him due to "plausible deniability", even though he told me he did the upgrades, I couldn't prove he did them, and that the previous owner didn't, since he was dead and unable to say "No I didn't!".

The escrow company was out of business, the title company was out of business, and so was the inspector and appraiser who got paid to do their work for my due diligence.

I lost $318k on the house, $34k in upgrades, $29k in legal fees, $11k in accounting fees to settle with the IRS for back taxes...and re-wrote California real estate law. You can't buy a home in California with upgrades that don't have proper permits, or are built to code partly due to my lawsuit.

But here's the bottom line...I bought from an unscrupulous seller. All the paperwork looked legit. But in court I lost. I didn't get my money back.

I did get a tax credit. That took over 9 years to burn up, and I got about 14% back on the dollar...or $56k back from $400k.

Not a great way to invest your money. Bottom line, you have to do your due diligence when buying anything, and even then you can still get screwed, through no fault of your own.

That's life, unfortunately.

coldfingaz
11-14-2011, 07:01 AM
As has been made clear by this thread, unless you buy a product new from an authorized dealer (hell even then it's not 100%), you need to do your homework.


Interesting debate.

But, the idea that doing your homework on an item potentially to be bought from a private seller on Ebay, Craigslist, TGP, etc. is not as easy as you suggest. What if you do your homework, but the serial number never turned up anywhere you looked? There's no central global (or even national) database for stolen gear.

If my gear got robbed & somebody was willing to return it to me when they were going to take the hit themselves, it wouldn't make me feel good to see that they are the one getting ripped off in the end... because without them I'd have no shot at getting it back. So, why not offer to soften their blow?

What was originally paid, in my mind, is of little consequence because that has nothing to do with what the guy that's going to end up being penalized might have just paid (i.e. more current market value). If your stolen item is sold & re-sold over again & then you come across it at that point (especially if it is over a few or many year period), I think it's unfortunate that some would offer the guy caught holding the bag absolutely nothing if he's willing to return the item for free.

That's goodwill on his end, none on yours IMHO.

I guess that explains why some wouldn't even offer to return stolen items once they're notified (see Gary Moore, RIP) & would fight it tooth & nail because otherwise they're the only ones that would get screwed in the end.

Clean Channel
11-14-2011, 08:36 AM
But, the idea that doing your homework on an item potentially to be bought from a private seller on Ebay, Craigslist, TGP, etc. is not as easy as you suggest. What if you do your homework, but the serial number never turned up anywhere you looked? There's no central global (or even national) database for stolen gear.


Then too bad.

You're right, the person who is currently in possession of the gear loses their money. They got screwed when they were sold a stolen item. The person who originally had their gear stolen owes them nothing.

Sometimes doing what's right means taking a hit. Deal with it.

coldfingaz
11-14-2011, 08:51 AM
Then too bad.

You're right, the person who is currently in possession of the gear loses their money. They got screwed when they were sold a stolen item. The person who originally had their gear stolen owes them nothing.

Sometimes doing what's right means taking a hit. Deal with it.


But, that attitude is why some people are unwilling to return items that they bought under false pretenses even if they did due diligence to whatever extent possible. Because they know they'll be the only one in the end to get screwed. Ethically, it wouldn't make me feel better to shift the burden of theft that was committed against me on to someone else... especially if it was someone that was trying to do the right thing.

If the reaction is "too bad" it's sort of hard for me to blame an innocent bystander for not wanting to take 100% of the hit. If your response is, again, too bad & you go after them legally, civilly or whatever then you stand a chance of winning or losing. So, would that be worth it if you lost out when you had a chance to meet them halfway?

For the record, I said I would return the item & expect nothing in return if the original owner had clear proof of ownership. But, I honestly feel it would be pretty shitty of that person not to offer me anything for my goodwill. I would definitely offer somebody some $ if they returned a stolen item (that they paid for) to me.

Clean Channel
11-14-2011, 08:57 AM
But, that attitude is why some people are unwilling to return items that they bought under false pretenses (regardless of whether they did due diligence). Because they know they'll be the only one in the end to get screwed.

If the reaction is "too bad" it's sort of hard for me to blame an innocent bystander for not wanting to take 100% of the hit. If your response is, again, too bad & you go after them legally, civilly or whatever then you stand a chance of winning or losing. So, would that be worth it if you lost out when you had a chance to meet them halfway?

For the record, I said I would return the item if the original owner had clear proof of ownership, but I honestly feel it would be pretty shitty of that person not to offer me anything. That's now how I would handle it if I had somebody return a stolen item (that they paid for) to me.

And in my opinion those people who are unwilling to return the gear at the risk of losing the money they spent (on a stolen item!) are no better than the thief who pinched the gear in the first place (edit: ok, maybe that's a little strong, but you get my point).

If you would like to pay someone for returning your stolen gear, that's your own prerogative. If I were to return a guitar to it's rightful owner, I would do so expecting nothing more than a thank you.

coldfingaz
11-14-2011, 09:18 AM
And in my opinion those people who are unwilling to return the gear at the risk of losing the money they spent (on a stolen item!) are no better than the thief who pinched the gear in the first place (edit: ok, maybe that's a little strong, but you get my point).

:omg

I'd have to agree to disagree.

At the end of the day, we would both do the same thing, but I guess I have more compassion for those that would end up getting screwed.

Either way, this is why crooks suck.

mannish
11-14-2011, 09:26 AM
I would have to get it back to the owner in some way. I thought pawn shops had to be accountable ins some way on stolen equipment. Did the person who had the gear stolen from them file a police report.

how much money we talking about what kind of gear..etc

Me personally (no reflection on you) I would try to work something out to get it back to the previous owner.

Clean Channel
11-14-2011, 09:26 AM
Either way, this is why crooks suck.

:aok
I can definitely agree with you there!

On the other hand, I believe my position on this has nothing to do with a lack of compassion.

orogeny
11-14-2011, 09:35 AM
At this point the pawn shop is legally out of the situation. They bought and sold this stuff legally. The last people that want stolen items in a pawn shop, is the pawn shop.

Was there a police report made? The local police department is responsible for picking up a copy of every transaction that the pawn shop makes and running it against theft reports. Many times this doesn't happen, or it doesn't happen in a timely manner.

The problem is, if you go to the police, you will likely not get your money back and your friend wont likely get his gear back.

You have the best chance of breaking even in this situation, if you are able to return it. Just dont say you're returning it because its stolen, they wont take it back, I wouldn't.just to be clear . . . .the first part of this is incorrect. it is not possible to buy or sell stolen goods legally. . . whether you know it or not. . .

Scumback Speakers
11-14-2011, 09:45 AM
That's goodwill on his end, none on yours IMHO.
:spit
I believe the goodwill was demonstrated when the original owner paid for the gear first instead of stealing it from the store they bought it from.

The person(s) with the stolen gear that was bought need to go back to their seller(s), get their money back, and so on backwards until the thief is found.

As for the Gary Moore "burst" thing, I believe that was way past the statute of limitations involved for theft and it had gone international, making jurisdiction/police involvement a nightmare. Pretty sure Ronnie Montrose found that that out when he tried to sue and his suit was dismissed.

I'll be the first one to say that he should have gotten his guitar back from Gary Moore in a perfect world. From what I'd seen of that scenario it did appear that guitar used to be the Montrose burst. Of course that fell under the "unique, identifying marks" of the guitar's top to prove what it was, and who it belonged to.

Long story short is this...buying stolen gear doesn't entitle you to a finder's fee or reward for returning it to the rightful owner when you know that it was stolen.

I'm not sure why that's so difficult to understand.

joey3f
11-14-2011, 10:00 AM
I had a guitar nicked... It turned up a few years later.

But to be honest, I'd had the money for it from insurance, bought another guitar and moved on. Maybe that's happened in this case - weren't we told that the dude didn't want it back? Also, sometimes you feel kind of violated by theft - I turned up a coat of mine that was nicked (with an iPod in the pocket) and I just didn't want either of them... the thought of wearing the coat sickened me (I knew the thief, and he stank)...

I digress...



On one hand you want to be a human about it and talk to the previous owner, on the other, it's best to go to the authorities to protect yourself.

I didn't really make a point there did I...

rog951
11-14-2011, 10:18 AM
Has anyone asked what the gear in question is?

Also, can we threaten to split the gear in half in a Soloman-esque manner to determine the true owner of the gear?

semi-hollowbody
11-14-2011, 10:51 AM
whao...on the other end of the spectrum
If I had a $2000 guitar STOLEN from me, a pawn shop bought it from the thief for $400...then I would have to give the pawn shop $400 to get it back...so the thief wins, I somewhat win, and and the pawn shop breaks even...isnt it up to the pawn shop to make sure they arent buying stolen goods, and if they do they can locate the seller??

The 3 pawn shops in my area require I.D. AND they fingerprint you if you are selling them stuff...they told me it was a requirement, not up to them

hk45acp
11-14-2011, 10:57 AM
Give it back, karma is priceless

brlfq
11-14-2011, 11:27 AM
Now that you know it's stolen and are still possessing it puts you in violation of the law. IMO you're obligated to return it ASAP.

It's not a violation of the law to buy an item that you do not know is stolen. In Mississippi, you have no obligation to return the merchandise to the original owner. (I agree that it would be a good idea to try to make it right, but the thief is the law breaker, not the buyer.)



(This is why I don't buy from pawn shops ~ much of the items are stolen.)



Pawn shops(and guitar center and Ye Old Music Shop) are required to give a list of all of the items they purchase to the police and hold the item for a month to give the police time to check the list for stolen merchandise. Pawn shops make their biggest money on loans, not on buying and selling.

Julia343
11-14-2011, 12:17 PM
Know that you know it's stolen and are still possessing it puts you in violation of the law. IMO you're obligated to return it ASAP.

It's not a violation of the law to buy an item that you do not know is stolen. In Mississippi, you have no obligation to return the merchandise to the original owner. (I agree that it would be a good idea to try to make it right, but the thief is the law breaker, not the buyer.)



Pawn shops(and guitar center and Ye Old Music Shop) are required to give a list of all of the items they purchase to the police and hold the item for a month to give the police time to check the list for stolen merchandise. Pawn shops make their biggest money on loans, not on buying and selling.

This whole thing is a grey area and depends upon circumstances.

The serial numbers only show up if the person from whom an item was stolen filed a police report. Sometimes a person will contact their insurance and the insurance will settle with them.

Take it back to the PAWN shop, and tell the person (if the pawn shop is still in business) that you want your money back or you will be contacting the police and make sure you have the paperwork. DO NOT go alone. It really sucks if you spent $2000 for the instrument. Pawn shops are becoming much more aware the value of instruments. Unfortunately some pawn shops have absolute crappy organization and they might not even have paperwork on the item. And especially won't have the paperwork if they fence items for thieves.

If they original owner got a settlement from their insurance and replaced the item and you return the item to them, they technically should return the settlement money to the insurance company. And the chances of that happening are :rotflmao. Then who becomes the thief?

You might want to contact a paralegal before you do anything.