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Michelle
Michelle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 211
Experience:  Experienced Legal Assistant with knowledge in Criminal, Family, Probate, and Bankruptcy Law.
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What can you do if someone steals something from your ...

Customer Question

What can you do if someone steals something from your house....in this case a watch.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  GauravMD replied 6 years ago.
Hi,
It seems like this is not a medical question,
Are you referring to the medical condition for compulsive stealing?
regards
Dr. Gupta
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I do not know why I am connected to the medical network. I listed the question as a legal one. Please put this request into the proper channel.

Thanks,

Barbara
Expert:  Michelle replied 6 years ago.

Hello Barbara,

The first thing you should do if you suspect that someone has stolen something from your home is to file a police report. The police will investigate the theft and if you know who did it, the police should question them and determine if there is enough evidence to charge the person and try to recover the item.

Please let me know if you need additional information, I'll be happy to help. Otherwise, please click accept below. Have a great day.

Michelle

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, that information is not sufficient. I already know I need to file a polic report. Perhaps if I give more detail it will help.

Yesterday I had two people come to my home to help me finish moving things from the previous home to the new one. This was following the professional move last week. During the move, I was talking to myself out loud commenting I would need a pick up truck to finish the garage items that had many things stored in it. One of the movers said he could help. He brought two friends, another man and his own girl friend.

Before they arrived, I had left my bracelet and a $150 watch in one of the rooms. After they left I found the bracelet was still there but the watch was missing.

My question concerns proving they took it and what legal recourse I have. After the police report, is there a way to press charges and what Court do I do that in without hard evidence?

Also, can I be counter sued for 'false' accusation, etc. What other ramificatiions might this have and what is the best way to handle it.

I have decided to give them 24 hours to return the watch or I will report it to the moving company. This person works by the hour, etc. and I believe he is probably acting as an independant contractor vs being an actual employee of the Company. He has been a mover for some time with them and I would like to know if the Company has any liability for him. In this case he was not acting as a representative of the Company and would probably be in trouble if they know he is suspected of stealing something.

Thanks,

Barbara
Expert:  Michelle replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for responding with additional information.

As to your first question, "After the police report, is there a way to press charges and what Court do I do that in without hard evidence?"

It will be up to the police to determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute the person for theft. If they decline to file charges due to a lack of evidence, there is not a way to go 'over' the police and pursue the charges yourself. The state has the responsibility to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court that a crime occurred, and without any evidence, there is no case. The district or city attorney will not bring a case to trial without evidence.

If there are criminal charges filed against him, that is not cause to accuse you of making a false accusation. In other words, if the police arrest him, there's no liability for you there.

However, if you were communicating a statement that makes a false claim, (for example, that this person is a thief) that is being implied as factual that may harm the reputation of an individual, most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, for defamation.

Additionally, if this person was working for you, individually and not under an agreement with the moving company, they are not likely to be held responsible for the theft (if it can be proven at all). It would be a good idea to make the company aware of the incident, as they may not allow him to contract on his own for one of their customers, and would most certainly not want to hear that his may have stolen something. If nothing else, he could be fired, and it may stop this from happening to someone else.

I hope this helps. If you need more help, please let me know. Otherwise, please click accept below.

Regards,

Michelle

 

Michelle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 211
Experience: Experienced Legal Assistant with knowledge in Criminal, Family, Probate, and Bankruptcy Law.
Michelle and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks, Michelle. Curiously, the woman I suspected of taking the watch is also named Michelle. She had suddenly decided at lunch with the two guys that she had to return home. Consequently she did not return after lunch and that also added to my suspicions.

I told the two movers that my watch had disappeared, etc. and that I did not believe either of them had taken it but did suspect that Michelle had. I further told them although I was sure they had not taken it, if it were not returned by noon today I would have to file a police report and name all three of them. Also, that if it were returned, no police report would be filed and no questions asked. One of the men said he would confront her.

This morning I received word that she had admitted she had the watch. He said he would pick it up and return it to me today. I am grateful and will feel relieved once I have it back.

Thanks for your help.

Barbara
Expert:  Michelle replied 6 years ago.

Hello again Barbara,

I'm very happy to hear that you seem to have gotten to the bottom of this. You can consider yourself lucky, as I'm sure you are aware of the probability of getting something like this back.

I think you handled this rather well, and took the appropriate action.

It's a shame that that you can't trust anyone in your home these days...

I wish you the best.

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