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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Questions: Criminal or civil suit: What steps necessary to

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Criminal or civil suit:
What steps necessary to recover item or sue for itemAt 4:10pm I laid down my laptop to sign the receipt at the cashier counter at the car dealership after they serviced my car. I drove 60 miles home. Upon pulling into my driveway I realized laptop was left on counter. I left and and called at 5:43.
I drove 60 miles back to the dealership and video tapes at dealership revealed the dealership service staff employee picked up my laptop still where I laid it only a few minutes after I left and hands it to two young men. Young men who were customers at the counter after I left only moments earlier. The young men walk off the premises with my computer.
I called police on my drive back to dealership at 6:30pm but police did not arrive because of a kidnapping case which took precedence over my stolen property police report.
I am returning this morning to dealership. Police said they'll meet me.
Can I ask employee to contact customer in an effort to recover my laptop?
Or do I file stolen property police report solely?
Is this a civil case or criminal?
Is dealership responsible for wrong doing?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Per your questions:

Can I ask employee to contact customer in an effort to recover my laptop? - Yes, you can certainly ask this. Now it is more likely that the dealership will give this information to the police, but you should certainly request it from the dealership yourself. If they say no, tell them that you are requesting a "litigation hold" on the surveillance tapes and any other evidence as to the identity of the individuals that took the laptop. This is something that will hopefully allow your attorney to request it in a lawsuit to ascertain the identity of the persons responsible for taking the laptop.

Or do I file stolen property police report solely? - It's not an either/or situation. You should do everything that you can to try to recover the property. This includes filing a police report, but also trying to get the dealership to work with you in tracking down the individuals that took it and seeking a quick resolution to the matter.

Is this a civil case or criminal? - Both, really. It's absolutely civil, as they took something that was yours without permission. That's called "conversion". If it was done with a "criminal intent" (that is, they had good reason to believe that it wasn't theirs and they took it with the intent to take possession of it (as opposed to returning it to you) then that's a crime. There can be criminal charges as well as a civil case filed for the return of the laptop or damages incurred (if they sold it on, etc...)

Is dealership responsible for wrong doing? - Most likely not. If they had taken possession of it (to a back room, etc...) and then through negligence it was stolen, you could have a better case against the dealership. But they have no obligation to exercise control over property that is left by customers, and the failure to do so (even if it results in the item being stolen) won't make them liable for those damages.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it 3 or more stars (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Hello?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Hello? If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service as OK Service or higher. It's only then I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

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