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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 111568
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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When my husband and I started farming we purchased my dad's

Customer Question

When my husband and I started farming we purchased my dad's livestock and farm equipment which was 59 yrs.ago. With the sale of equipment there was an elevator w/ a gas engine on it, we also used it when husband and boys baled hay and straw for husbands father who lived10 or so miles from us.Over the years we built silos and had other equipment to take the place of the elevator, which stayed at husbands father to use. Elevator was stored on grand mothers property which was close to husbands fathers' place which was owned by grandmother. After Grandmother and father passed the elevator w the gas engine seemed to have disappeared. A short time ago husbands brother in law said to him" you'll have to come and see the gas engine some neighbor guy??? gave me, neighbor said it was your dads. Description was exactly to a T of the engine which is missing. "Tells us the neighbor must've stolenit??? . My husband said" sounds exactly like the elevator we bought from my father-in-law.
Brother in law walked quickly walked away w/o another word, how do we handle this?/ grant time period is 20-30 yrs ago. Theft is theft right??
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Theft is theft. You have to prove you owned it somehow and then you have to prove who took it or how they got it and you would be able to sue them for the value of the property. As far as criminal charges, it is not likely that the DA will prosecute because it is not possible from what you are saying to pinpoint when the engine and elevator was taken from the place where you had it stored, but if you can pinpoint a time frame of when it was taken and show who took it, then you certainly can report it to the DA for them to decide if they want to prosecute the neighbor.
If they do not want to prosecute or you cannot nail down a specific time period when it was stolen, then you have to sue them in civil court for conversion and replevin and you have to sue both the neighbor and your brother in law, unless you can convince your brother in law to give it back to you without a suit and fight.

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