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Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I have reason to believe that a person now under felony parole

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I have reason to believe that a person now under felony parole has either stolen my boat or is using it unlawfully. The only permanaent address is the address the court system has on file and it's for probation purposes. This person has had my boat for 7 months and has not returned the boat despite daily demands over the past two weeks (mostly direct to him on telephone and some through text). Interestingly, he does answer his cell phone occasionally. Under rules of civil matters I am required to have him sign an agreement that he will return the boat but I cannot find him. I went to the address listed on the court document but I seriously doubt he lives in that hovel. My next move is to discuss the matter with the parole office (officer) supervising his "transition" back into the community. What do you think?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer. How do you know this person and how did he get your boat?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I met him through a student (boat engines etc..). He has been servicing the boat for about 3 years the same way ie he takes the boat and brings it back running perfectly. So I gave him my property without a contract. This time he got the boat in february 2013 (he was arrested January 2013; became a felon 5-01-2013, now on probation). He kept disappearing and I (maybe by MAy-peak boating season) began asking for the boat but he kept saying he would finish and bring it back. July 4th weekend became the new deadline and it came and went. Since then Ive been heating up the contacts and demands to have the boat back. At thispoint he is stonewalling it seems

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
Alright, thank you for the additional information. What you are describing is a crime. It's called different things in different states but it is a form of theft commonly called embezzlement because he did not steal your boat but he did convert something you entrusted to him to his own use without your consent.

You need to make a police report with your local police department and give them all the contact information you have for him. You may also want to contact his probation officer but probation officers do not investigate crimes. The police do that. His probation officer is unlikely to do anything until a police report is made and criminal charges are filed by the prosecutor's office (district attorney's office in most states). The prosecutor's office is also the entity that will decide whether to petition the court to revoke his probation based upon this. Probation officers can recommend this be done but ultimately it is up to the prosecutor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I'm confused.I asked the local police and they said they would not get involved in a civil matter unless written(by me)/signed (by the boat guy) letter is presented citing the day the boat was to be returned (of course assuming the boat still was not given back by that time). I dont know what the guy is doing and its very puzzling. For example if he didnt have it why would he have the same cell phone and answer AND continue conducting area business as if he wants to be established. Guys from his "business" were at my house yesterday doing fence repair and yard-work (they were mum about questions i had about the boat and called boat guy who said,again, the boat would be delivered that day). OK sorry I digressed. So what you are saying is to NOT make it a civil matter by accusing him of embezzlement? I just dont think police would bite based on what they told me. Is there a good way to word the accusation to take it off the "civil matters" table?

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
It is both a criminal and civil manner and you may have to pursue the civil route yourself if the police will not pursue it. It is fairly common for law enforcement not to want to get involved in financial crimes that are more complicated than an outright stealing and where the victim also has a civil remedy available.

The lack of a verbal contract is not a requirement to make it a crime, but it would be nice evidence to have. Basically, the police are telling you they do not want to get involved or spend their time on it. Unless you can get a police supervisor to reverse that decision you will be left to sue him yourself.

It can't hurt to also talk to his probation officer. He probably cannot actually do anything, but he might mention it to his probationer and scare him into doing the right thing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In your experience would the probation officer be helpful in verifying the address for purposes of contact in case I am not successful with the police? And.... in your experience it would be worth a try to tell this guy that I am about to file a police report (tomorrow) and contact his probation officer ( This is what I want to do...anything to avoid the legal gobbledygook...and since he is a felon on parole why not leverage that advantage...right?...and if he doesn't respond then follow through because it really is not a bluff...right?)

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
In your experience would the probation officer be helpful in verifying the address for purposes of contact in case I am not successful with the police?

It is possible that the probation officer would confirm his address, but I doubt it. It is likely against their policy to release that information except to law enforcement. For instance, what if they gave out somebody's address and the person they gave the address to went and killed the person? They would be civilly liable and have a public relations nightmare.

And.... in your experience it would be worth a try to tell this guy that I am about to file a police report (tomorrow) and contact his probation officer

Yes, that would certainly make me return the boat. (Of course, I'm not a felon who doesn't return people's boats.) You do want to be careful with threats that you don't cross the line of extortion, but what you said is ok to do. Hope it works!
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1359
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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