Are you legally allowed to keep money you find that someone else lost? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Crime and prevention thereof. Loopholes, grey areas and the letter of the law.
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#14964430
I think you can keep the money without being charged and it's really cumbersome to report it to the police unless it's worth more than hundred thousand dollars. But I got my money back that I dropped in a university dorm in Australia, where this kind of good behaviour is least expected. Someone found it at the reception just after I left.
#14967593
I think most American jurisdictions place a burden upon the finder to make a good-faith attempt to identify the owner of found property (including cash) before keeping it for yourself. For significant sums of money, the police may have to be involved, depending on local law.

Note that keeping lost property isn't necessarily a criminal matter (although it could be in some places, I imagine) - it's more likely civil. If the true owner can show that he merely lost his property, rather than abandoned it, he or she can come back and sue you to recover it.
#15043596
Agent Steel wrote:I know. I'm asking about legality, not ethics.

in UK you are required by law to hand the money to the owner if you can find hem/her or to a police station. It is an offence to keep it called - Stealing By Finding.
I was in New York with my Granddaughter she left $2000 cash on the back seat of a Yellow Cab - JFK to Brooklyn - she was literally sick. 2 hours later the Cab Driver, a very nice Muslim guy, turned up at the Hotel with the cash. Ny granddaughters smile was as big as Brooklyn Bridge. Thanks to that Cab Driver. (PS, we had no record or proof we left it in his cab, i/e we could not find him or name him as we paid in cash) It was his total honesty that saved my granddaughters holiday in New York.
I always put the boot on my foot when I find money... I imagine someone finding my cash and what I would like them to do.
#15060261
Godstud wrote:
A "huge roll of bills" is usually associated with crime, so I'd just thank your lucky stars and spend it like it's yours.



If you find a large stash of money belonging to a criminal, inquiries by the police may be the least of your worries. Someone dangerous will be looking for you and their money. Or at least that’s what happens in the movies.
#15060265
Sivad wrote:It would be shitty not to try to find who it belongs to and return it. That could be some single mother's rent or grocery money, you could really fuck up someone's life by just keeping it. If you knew it belonged to some rich asshole I'd say keep it, but if you don't know you have to at least try to find out.


Who lost it is immaterial. If it's right to return it in one instance, it's right to return it in all instances.

The issue becomes one of likelihood. Are you likely to find the owner?

I was in Ireland in 2018 and in my room safe (on the floor in the closet), pushed all the way to the back, I found a women's wallet. It had identification and about £400 in cash. I took the wallet down to the front desk and turned it in. The woman who'd lost it had stayed in that same room about six weeks prior. The receptionist asked if she could give the owner my name and e-mail, if requested for a thank you, etc. I said yes.

After being home for three days, I got an e-mail from the woman, thanking me profusely for turning in not only the wallet, but all of the contents, as well. She said when she reached around inside the safe she couldn't feel it, so she assumed she'd lost it elsewhere. The safes are so low you really can't see too far into them. She was very appreciative.

Now, had it been merely £400 in cash, it would've been a very different story. There would've been no way to ascertain who the owner was unless that person had already reported losing £400. In that case, I would've asked the receptionist if anyone had reported losing that much cash. If so, I'd definitely turn it over. If not, I'm not so sure I would.

I think the right thing to do is make at least some effort to determine who the cash belongs to and, if you can determine that, you return it...
#15060312
BigSteve wrote:I think the right thing to do is make at least some effort to determine who the cash belongs to and, if you can determine that, you return it...
QFT. Yes, that is, of course the right thing to do. I think most people do this, actually.
#15060320
@Agent Steel

Agent Steel wrote:If somehow a huge roll of bills is found on the sidewalk that someone accidentally dropped, am I within my legal right to take it, as it could be considered public property where it lies? Or would that be theft?


Here in the US, in the state of Georgia in the US, if you find money that somebody accidentally dropped and you don't attempt to return it, you are committing the crime of "Theft of Mislaid Property." If somebody gives you something or sells you something that you know or you should know is stolen property (for example, if somebody sells you something for far less than what it is is really worth, then it might be stolen property and if it is you could be charged) then the crime you are committing in the state of Georgia here in the US is "Receiving Stolen Property."

Here is the state of Georgia code for the state of Georgia here in the United States on "Theft of Mislaid Property:"

Georgia Law Code O.C.G.A. wrote:A person commits the offense of theft of lost or mislaid property when he comes into control of property that he knows or learns to have been lost or mislaid and appropriates the property to his own use without first taking reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner.


https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/20 ... -1/16-8-6/


The Georgia Code here in the US for "Receiving Stolen Property:"

Georgia Law Code O.C.G.A. wrote:(a) A person commits the offense of theft by receiving stolen property when he receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property which he knows or should know was stolen unless the property is received, disposed of, or retained with intent to restore it to the owner. "Receiving" means acquiring possession or control or lending on the security of the property.

(b) In any prosecution under this Code section it shall not be necessary to show a conviction of the principal thief.


https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/20 ... -1/16-8-7/

It depends on the law of the land where you are located. But that is the law of the land where I am located.
#15060384
BigSteve wrote:Who lost it is immaterial. If it's right to return it in one instance, it's right to return it in all instances.


If we lived in a just world where most people weren't total jackholes then yeah but in this world my only rule is don't cause grievous harm to anyone who isn't really asking for it. Short of that you're all fair game because that's the kind of nasty world you all have collectively made for yourselves.
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