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(Yahoo)   If you found a small amount of cash in a stray wallet on a park bench in New York City, would you take it? The NYPD hopes you do   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 71
    More: Asinine, New York Police Department, chess tactics, New York Civil Liberties Union, possession of stolen property, habitual offender, old single  
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19851 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2013 at 3:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-04-14 01:04:42 PM  
10 votes:
Twenty-five years ago, I saw an unattended purse under a park bench downtown.  I watched it for few minutes, and nobody was anywhere around it.  It was an area known for lots of tourists.  I was inclined to just leave it there, but I kept thinking how somebody's vacation might be ruined.  Finally, against my better judgment, I picked it up and walked to the downtown police station, where I turned it in.  It turned out that it belonged to a teenaged tourist, and contained nearly four hundred dollars of her graduation gift money.

I almost didn't get involved.  I didn't want somebody to claim that the 6'5" pony-tailed man had just stolen the purse that he was carrying as he was walking down the city street. I did not want the owner to discover or allege any missing contents in the purse.  What if the purse contained drugs, or a weapon?  Should I open it before turning it in, just to be sure?

Thanks, NYPD, for further discouraging Good Samaritans.
2013-04-14 03:14:58 PM  
9 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: Leaving bait =/= entrapment.


Are you nuts? Of course it is. A bait car to catch car thieves in an area particularly hit hard by that type of crime is not entrapment but leaving a wallet unattended and then charging the first person who picks it up is blatant entrapment. There's no knowing if the person is picking it up to try and return it to the rightful owners or just taking it cos it's there. It's bullshiat and you are a fool for not seeing that.
2013-04-14 02:18:50 PM  
8 votes:
How the fark is this not entrapment?  It's one thing to leave a car or bike in a high crime area and see if someone tries to openly steal it.  But to put on these performances designed to attract the curiosity of bystanders and then nab them for checking things out?  How can that be legal?
2013-04-14 02:36:56 PM  
6 votes:
guilty until proven innocent, that's our way now.   put some drugs into those sting operations, maybe an unloaded weapon too...and then you can throw people into jail for weapons, drugs AND theft.  But its ok, because we're stopping 'terrorism' or something.  how does that saying go?  'if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear'?

sleep well citizen.
2013-04-14 02:36:20 PM  
6 votes:
I've picked up wallets and taken them home to try to find the owner myself.  There's always DL or student IDs, membership cards, etc.
There was only one time that there wasn't enough info to figure out who the owner was and how to get a hold of them.  That's when I turn the item in.

Do police actually bother trying to get found wallets to their owners?  The huge inventory at Stolen Item auctions always gave the impression that once they caught the thief, that was the end of it.  Original owners were just SOL.
2013-04-14 12:23:02 PM  
6 votes:
WTF is up with the NYPD? They clearly have WAY too many resources and a truly bad attitude toward their citizens.
2013-04-14 01:34:53 PM  
5 votes:
If NYPD has enough time to conduct these pants-on-head retarded sting/entrapment operations I'm guessing there's too many of them with nothing useful to do and some need to be let go.
2013-04-14 01:13:25 PM  
5 votes:

TexasPeace: Twenty-five years ago, I saw an unattended purse under a park bench downtown.  I watched it for few minutes, and nobody was anywhere around it.  It was an area known for lots of tourists.  I was inclined to just leave it there, but I kept thinking how somebody's vacation might be ruined.  Finally, against my better judgment, I picked it up and walked to the downtown police station, where I turned it in.  It turned out that it belonged to a teenaged tourist, and contained nearly four hundred dollars of her graduation gift money.

I almost didn't get involved.  I didn't want somebody to claim that the 6'5" pony-tailed man had just stolen the purse that he was carrying as he was walking down the city street. I did not want the owner to discover or allege any missing contents in the purse.  What if the purse contained drugs, or a weapon?  Should I open it before turning it in, just to be sure?

Thanks, NYPD, for further discouraging Good Samaritans.


These days, I'd be more worried that cops in such a situation would call in the bomb squad to detonate the `suspicious abandoned package'
2013-04-14 04:48:51 PM  
4 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: Not feeling any sympathy for people who take shiat that isn't theirs and then walk past uniformed officers without reporting it.


Some organization tried an experiment years ago where they turned over wallets with money in them to cops, don't remember where. Something like half the wallets either didn't get turned in or had no cash when they were. Maybe NYPD ought to try that too and see how well their own officers do. Maybe they'll even be prosecuted (yeah right).
SH
2013-04-14 04:44:49 PM  
4 votes:
10 years ago I found a wallet in the parking lot of the local Kwicky Mart. It had $40ish and the usual stuff. I picked it up, put it in my pocket, bought whatever I went there to buy and went home. I Googled the name on the DL, found a similar name a few neighborhoods over, and called. Nobody answered so I hung up (no message).

I didn't leave it with the cashiers at the Kwicky Mart for obvious reasons. Several hours later I got an anonymous call, the people I called earlier were calling the number on their caller ID. I asked if they had lost a wallet, they answered their son might have. Long story short, he was close enough to walk to my place and claim it, offered me the $40 in it because everything was still there, I declined. my good deed for the week.

So, in NYC I'd be behind bars for this according to how I read this article. At what point does this good deed become a crime? Isn't the real crime here the cops setting up such a ridiculous sting just to make their numbers look good?
2013-04-14 04:13:47 PM  
4 votes:

I alone am best: Maybe you should steal shiat from peoples cars retard.



Try reading TFA:

"Myers' daughter, seeing that the driver left the car door open, went over and peered inside to see personal items that included what looked like a bundle of cash - in reality, a dollar bill wrapped around pieces of newspaper. The girl had called her mother over when another set of police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground, according to Myers' account.
"Get on the floor? For what?" Myers recalled telling the officers.
The officers took them into custody, even though they never touched anything inside the car, the suit says. While entering a stationhouse in handcuffs, Myers spotted the driver of the car standing outside, smoking a cigarette. It dawned on her that he was an undercover with a starring role in the sting - a suspicion supported by the court ruling.
"I thought I was in 'The Twilight Zone,'" she said.
The girl ultimately wasn't charged. But her mother spent more than two years fighting charges of petty larceny and possession of stolen property.
"

Stealing usually implies physically taking the item in question, not just glancing in its general direction.
2013-04-14 04:13:23 PM  
4 votes:

Molavian: I dunno, the little biatch tried to steal shiat out of an open car.


The officers took them into custody, even though they never touched anything inside the car, the suit says...

But in the cops' defense, they were black and they were looking, so that's gotta break some law.
2013-04-14 01:50:44 PM  
4 votes:
It's good to know that there's no crime in NYC so cops have the time to engage in entrapment.
2013-04-14 12:35:10 PM  
4 votes:

bronyaur1: WTF is up with the NYPD? They clearly have WAY too many resources and a truly bad attitude toward their citizens.


My brother in law is an extremely decorated NYPD officer.  He's a farking dumbshiat.  That tells me all I need to know.
2013-04-14 11:23:36 PM  
3 votes:

Great Janitor: Years ago, when I was a senior in high school I found a wallet in the hallway.  There were some personal notes that were folded up, no cash but a drivers license.  The license belonged to a student in the class that I was walking to next.  So I went to class with the wallet.  She was in a panic and was looking for it.  I stopped her and handed it to her, told her exactly where I found it.  The teacher stopped her and told her to tell me thank you.

She turned me into the principal for stealing the cash that was already taken from the wallet before I even found it.  Now, my friend was with me when I found it so he knows that the cash (assuming that there was any) was not even there.  So I learned the lesson that no good deed ever goes unpunished and to never return a missing wallet.

Hell, I don't even return lost cellphones.  Of the two I found, one I texted all the female contacts and asked for pic of their boobs, including the one labeled 'mom'.  His daughter was a bit concerned.  To his wife, I just texted her a notice about knocking up a 16 y.o. girl.  I then tossed it into a lake.  Of the other, I just texted one of those text here to donate $10 to this charity.  I did it until the battery ran down.


Texting all the females for boobies pics was funny but texting to donate someone else's money is theft. The line you crossed was way back there next to the boobies texts.
2013-04-14 05:27:01 PM  
3 votes:

Great Janitor: Years ago, when I was a senior in high school I found a wallet in the hallway.  There were some personal notes that were folded up, no cash but a drivers license.  The license belonged to a student in the class that I was walking to next.  So I went to class with the wallet.  She was in a panic and was looking for it.  I stopped her and handed it to her, told her exactly where I found it.  The teacher stopped her and told her to tell me thank you.

She turned me into the principal for stealing the cash that was already taken from the wallet before I even found it.  Now, my friend was with me when I found it so he knows that the cash (assuming that there was any) was not even there.  So I learned the lesson that no good deed ever goes unpunished and to never return a missing wallet.

Hell, I don't even return lost cellphones.  Of the two I found, one I texted all the female contacts and asked for pic of their boobs, including the one labeled 'mom'.  His daughter was a bit concerned.  To his wife, I just texted her a notice about knocking up a 16 y.o. girl.  I then tossed it into a lake.  Of the other, I just texted one of those text here to donate $10 to this charity.  I did it until the battery ran down.


So because someone was once a dick to you, you are 10 times the asshole they were.

Cool story, bro.
2013-04-14 05:12:58 PM  
3 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: boyd1031: Read the article the lady that was charged did not take anything she just looked in to the vehicle after her daughter asked her motther to come look at this. Neither daughter nor mother touched or took anything but yet charged the mother!

Yeah, read the article. The only reason they didn't take anything was because the police pulled up before they could. Do you really expect me to believe that it's normal behavior for people to go snooping in a car that's been left open and unattended?


Two cars race by you.  People get out and start running down the street, leaving one of the cars open.  Nobody has normal behavior for that situation because it's not a normal situation.  Why wouldn't someone go over check the car for a baby, somebody shot in the back seat, or God only knows what?
2013-04-14 04:12:02 PM  
3 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: Not feeling any sympathy for people who take shiat that isn't theirs and then walk past uniformed officers without reporting it.


Read the article the lady that was charged did not take anything she just looked in to the vehicle after her daughter asked her motther to come look at this. Neither daughter nor mother touched or took anything but yet charged the mother!
2013-04-15 01:12:26 AM  
2 votes:
So, don't bother being a good samaritan in NY, got it.

What happens when the arrest from these stings drop off because people won't pick up the bait? Let me guess they'll arrest you for walking past their sting and NOT being a good samaritan.
2013-04-14 08:39:05 PM  
2 votes:
What a change from when I was growing up and occasionally an officer friendly would show up at school and the kids were impressed. Thirty years later, I'm telling my son that if he is ever arrested he should say nothing and demand a lawyer, and to call me no matter what. I told him that the cops are not to be trusted and they will arrest anyone for convenience, and will intimidate and lie to obtain a confession.

What a travesty this has become.
2013-04-14 06:45:58 PM  
2 votes:

serial_crusher: Get your phone out and video record yourself picking the thing up off the ground and keep it running your whole trip to the police station.


Yeah, but that wouldn't necessarily protect you...I can just see the article/headline now:

[ FAIL ] Dumb: Stealing a wallet. Dumber: Videotaping yourself committing the crime. FARK: Delivering the video evidence right to the police.

Article: Officers questioned Mr. Crusher when they saw him videotaping around the police station and confiscated his cellphone. Once they saw the footage of the theft, he was immediately arrested for larceny and violating a regulation barring photography of government buildings. Crusher claims he was turning the wallet in after finding it on a park bench.
2013-04-14 06:19:20 PM  
2 votes:
If they're trying to tell good people from bad, leaving money on the ground and seeing who takes it isn't really the best way.
2013-04-14 06:10:07 PM  
2 votes:
I lost my wallet as a teenager, on a bike ride miles from home.  First I knew of it was when my dad handed it to me when I got back.  He said some guy dropped it off at the house using the address off my license.  All contents intact, cool dude was cool.
 By the sound of TFA, the cool guy who found my wallet would have been arrested in this sting because he picked it up and left with it, and never contacted the police.


I can just imagine him getting arrested, and saying "Really, I was going to return it!"  and the cops not believing him for one second.
2013-04-14 05:26:07 PM  
2 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: Karac: Two cars race by you.  People get out and start running down the street, leaving one of the cars open.  Nobody has normal behavior for that situation because it's not a normal situation.  Why wouldn't someone go over check the car for a baby, somebody shot in the back seat, or God only knows what?

Walking by a car and looking inside and actually going inside and looking around aren't even close to being the same. Had the cops not blown their wad too early, they were going to take something.


So you admit they didn't take anything, and didn't commit any crime then?  Or is the NYPD now employing precognatives?
2013-04-14 04:49:47 PM  
2 votes:
Entrapment is coercing somebody into committing a crime.   That's not what's happening here.  This is the police arresting people who haven't committed any crime.

Mens rea test, biatches.
2013-04-14 04:33:27 PM  
2 votes:

Mugato: Isn't there a precedent here in the case of Finders vs Keepers?


Actually, it's Keepers v. Weepers...common mistake :)
2013-04-14 04:30:17 PM  
2 votes:
Did someone say "Entrapment?"
upload.wikimedia.org
2013-04-14 04:25:45 PM  
2 votes:
If you've got to make crimes happen for an arrest, you've got too many cops on the payroll.
2013-04-14 04:13:19 PM  
2 votes:

I alone am best: I can see a park bench or sidewalk being a pretty stupid thing to do. The lady in the article took it out of a car that wasnt hers, then there is this gem.


Myers, a 40-year-old single mother with no criminal record, has since sued the city, claiming she and her daughter were traumatized by a wrongful arrest in 2010.

You know how embarrassing and humiliating this was?" Myers said. "I'd never been stopped by the police for anything in my life."

Maybe you should steal shiat from peoples cars retard.


Did you read the article? Neither her or her daughter touched anything in the car.
2013-04-14 04:07:45 PM  
2 votes:
Don't blame the cops on the beat..... These are folks who are just making a living trying to keep order in a f*cked up society. Blame their superiors who assign them to these crappy stakeouts to bust others doing what simply comes naturally to a lot of people in a poor financial condition.

Bottom line? If it is yours, if it has value? Don't leave it unattended somewhere
2013-04-14 03:31:30 PM  
2 votes:
What happens when at the end of the day when the cops comes and picks up the wallet? Can you do a citizens arrest for theft? What goes around comes around.
2013-04-14 02:58:41 PM  
2 votes:
Glad to know that NYC is so free of crime that the cops have to entrap people to make arrests nowadays.
2013-04-14 12:58:03 PM  
2 votes:
Sounds like the NYPD are a real bunch of master baiters.
2013-04-14 12:56:40 PM  
2 votes:

Aar1012: What if I take the cash and wallet to an NYPD station and report it as lost?

/DNRTFA


See, that's the thing: the cops act as if the law says you must immediately run to the nearest officer to report the find; you don't. I'm pretty sure NY courts in the past have stated so, and that cops who acted otherwise were ignorant of the law, overzealous, or both.
2013-04-14 12:42:04 PM  
2 votes:
So I should stop picking up those nickels I find on the sidewalk?
2013-04-14 12:39:15 PM  
2 votes:
It's the kind of stuff cops do when they are bored and need to up the district's quality of life count.
2013-04-15 02:21:27 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: It doesn't match her story at all. The story in the opinion is that the girl and her mom entered the car. Not just stood there.


Then if would have said "Pulled them from the car and forced them to the ground..." or "Ordered them from the car, and forced them to the ground..."

But it just says "police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground".

And you realize that not being convicted of something doesn't automatically mean that the cops lied about every element? Like, say you get arrested for burglary at midnight, and you get acquitted... It doesn't suddenly mean that it was daytime.

But it DOES mean I didn't commit the burglary.

Yes, so there's one account with "no mention of how long a time" and one account with an accounting of the order of events. The detailed one seems a bit more credible than the vague one, no?

On that particular issue, perhaps. Fine. I'll concede- when the cops arrested her for looking in the car, the 'arrestee' was already in 'custody'. What's your point?

Your lack of reading comprehension is showing again. The defendant was arrested almost immediately upon her entering the car and taking the property.

"...defendant was arrested almost immediately. Had some time elapsed, the police would have been able to observe whether defendant left a note on the car... or whether she instead took [the money] with her or tried to use it."

Had they waited, they could have seen if she would have taken the money. This means, since they did not wait, they did NOT see if she would have taken the money.

Talk about lack of reading comprehension.

(Oh, and "leave a note "on" the car. If she was IN the car, then she'd have left any note "IN" the car. The only way to leave a note "ON" the car is to be outside the car. Thus, implying she was outside the car.)

As the opinion notes, there wasn't enough time to see if the defendant would leave a note behind, so they didn't have evidence to show that she took the property with the intent to keep it, just that she took the property.

They didn't have any evidence that she took it AT ALL. Else, we would be hearing about it. "Police showed a video of her stuffing the cash into her pocket..." "A police officer testified that he saw her hide the wad of bills in her bra, and signaled for them to move in and arrest her..."

But that doesn't mean that she never entered the car

Didn't know entering a car was illegal. What'd they charge her with? Trespassing??

In fact, her defense according to the opinion was that she took the property with the intent to keep it safe for the arrestee...

"The defense contends that Ms. Meyers intended to safeguard the property for the 'arrestee'..."

I see nothing there about "taking" the property- she very well could have looked in the car, said "Hey, there's some valuables here, let's close and lock the car door to keep it safe..." and then been arrested.

safeguard- a precautionary measure, stipulation, or device

Locking the door would be a 'protective measure' to safeguard the arrestee's valuables, and would not involve her taking them in any way.
2013-04-15 11:56:42 AM  
1 votes:
NYPD routinely scoops up groups of kids and hold them to see if they have warrants.  I thought this was bullshiat until I was muscled into a paddy wagon (I look young for my age) and questioned.  It wasn't until I pulled out a corporate ID before they let me go.  When I protested the treatment we all received, I was asked if I wanted to be arrested for possesion, even though I was clean...at the time?
2013-04-15 08:36:40 AM  
1 votes:
The irony is that if the NYPD catches you carrying around a large amount of your own cash, they will steal it from you.
2013-04-15 03:01:27 AM  
1 votes:
Cool, they do something like this in Iraq. Leaving a weapon just lying around and anyone who picks it up must be an enemy combatant who is then snipered.
2013-04-15 02:49:31 AM  
1 votes:

the ha ha guy: I alone am best: Maybe you should steal shiat from peoples cars retard.


Try reading TFA:

"Myers' daughter, seeing that the driver left the car door open, went over and peered inside to see personal items that included what looked like a bundle of cash - in reality, a dollar bill wrapped around pieces of newspaper. The girl had called her mother over when another set of police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground, according to Myers' account.
"Get on the floor? For what?" Myers recalled telling the officers.
The officers took them into custody, even though they never touched anything inside the car, the suit says. While entering a stationhouse in handcuffs, Myers spotted the driver of the car standing outside, smoking a cigarette. It dawned on her that he was an undercover with a starring role in the sting - a suspicion supported by the court ruling.
"I thought I was in 'The Twilight Zone,'" she said.
The girl ultimately wasn't charged. But her mother spent more than two years fighting charges of petty larceny and possession of stolen property."

Stealing usually implies physically taking the item in question, not just glancing in its general direction.


Yeah, but she's black.
2013-04-15 02:41:31 AM  
1 votes:
I once found a credit card just sitting in the middle of a drug store parking lot while I was on my lunch breakAfter checking inside to see if the owner was still around, I took it back with me and promptly called the credit card company from my desk to report it lost and/or stolen before tossing it in the shredder.

It didn't even occur to me to bother the cops around the corner with it. I mean, why should it? Police aren't actually held to any higher standard than anyone else. I'd probably get the same result as if I just handed it to the cashier at the drug store to deal with. At least with the cashiers, I wouldn't get glared at for bothering them.
2013-04-15 01:53:48 AM  
1 votes:
As long as US Prisons are run for profit by big corps, then expect to see a steady stream of black people be arrested for drugs and petty theft
2013-04-14 09:47:59 PM  
1 votes:

Silverstaff: A decade or so ago, I was walking across campus at college.

I saw a cell phone laying in the parking lot.  I investigated a little closer.  It was working, had power and everything.

Nobody around it could belong to, I was the only person in the lot.  I looked through the address book and found an entry named "Mom".

I called it.  I told the woman who answered that I'd found this phone in a parking lot and was wondering how to get it to its rightful owner.

The woman said her son had lost his phone yesterday and had been freaking out trying to find it.  I asked where he was so I could take it back to him.  She told me what dorm he was at, and said she'd call him on his phone in the dorm to tell him to expect me.

I walked across campus, happy I was doing a good deed.  I walked into the dorm, and there was a guy standing there.  He stormed up to me.  As I started to smile and say hello he angrily snapped "Give me back my phone you thief!" as he swiped the phone out of my hands and ran off, darting up the stairs.

Confused, and angry, I turned around and left.  If I was going to be treated like shiat I could have left his phone out there.  Sounds like the NYPD would have arrested me for just picking up the phone to begin with.


He was doing what he could to avoid admitting he'd done a dumb thing  like lose his phone.  I can just hear the conversation with Mom.

"Honey, a man's bringing by the phone you lost.  Try to be more careful in the future; that phone cost us a lot."

"I DIDN"T LOSE IT!  IT WAS STOLEN!"
2013-04-14 08:55:35 PM  
1 votes:

Farxist Marxist: What a change from when I was growing up and occasionally an officer friendly would show up at school and the kids were impressed. Thirty years later, I'm telling my son that if he is ever arrested he should say nothing and demand a lawyer, and to call me no matter what. I told him that the cops are not to be trusted and they will arrest anyone for convenience, and will intimidate and lie to obtain a confession.

What a travesty this has become.


Actually that's basic good advice for everyone, not just your kids.

Always good to help police catch crooks, but the minute you feel you're under suspicion yourself, the only word you should say from then on is "lawyer".
2013-04-14 08:42:57 PM  
1 votes:
Simple question for legal experts:

If I find a wallet, what law says I have to return it? I thought abandoned property is fair game; cops for example can root through your trash because it's "abandoned".

Obviously using the ID or the credit cards is illegal. But taking the paper money and throwing the rest in the trash? Why is that illegal?

Might not be nice, but cops aren't there to legislate niceness.
2013-04-14 08:22:41 PM  
1 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: boyd1031: Read the article the lady that was charged did not take anything she just looked in to the vehicle after her daughter asked her motther to come look at this. Neither daughter nor mother touched or took anything but yet charged the mother!

Yeah, read the article. The only reason they didn't take anything was because the police pulled up before they could. Do you really expect me to believe that it's normal behavior for people to go snooping in a car that's been left open and unattended?


So the lady and her daughter committed a thought crime?

You're either a troll or an idiot.
2013-04-14 07:56:27 PM  
1 votes:

Mentat: The problem is that they aren't just leaving bait. They are putting on a performance for the sole purpose of drawing attention to the item and then, based on this article, nabbing anyone who comes close. While that may not technically fit the definition of entrapment, they are toeing the line about as close as they possibly can.


That, actually, is a big (common) complaint with sting operations. Once upon a time it was just an open delivery van left unguarded. Then it became a big "Hey, look at me! I'm leaving my van unguarded!"

In all cases where the cops didn't cross the line, however, the judges have come down against the perps with a simple "I don't care if they did shove your face in the blinking, cherry red button; you still voluntarily pressed it knowing full well you shouldn't have."

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2013-04-14 06:45:02 PM  
1 votes:
What ever happened to "finders keepers"? If you found something in a public area that's on the ground, like $5 or even $20, isn't it considered as something you can already take? It's not like you forcefully took it away from its original owner like how a real criminal would do it.

I think there's a difference between going inside somebody's car and taking their stuff and simply finding a lost item in a public area. Although it would be nice if people took that bag of grocery and took it to the police for you to recover, they're not supposed to be obligated to. First, it's very unlikely that you would leave any kind of information in the grocery bag stating that it belongs to you. Whoever finds it wouldn't have any idea. Second, it's not like it's very easy to find a policeman or a police station where you can simply cross the street and deliver the lost items.

Wallets are a different case though because those usually contain data that says whom it belongs to. Still, just because someone has your wallet doesn't immediately mean they're the ones who also took your wallet. What if the thief just threw away the wallet and a "good samaritan" happened to just pick it up in an effort to return it to you or hand it over to the police? Of course, being caught with an empty wallet that doesn't belong to you would immediately cast horrible suspicions about you.

There are certain situations that seems like the best course of action is inaction because of set-ups like this. If you see a wallet and you honestly believe that it's the right thing to return it to the owner, no, don't get involved. You might suddenly get branded as a criminal simply because you picked it up.
2013-04-14 06:42:44 PM  
1 votes:

AxemRed: One time I found a purse on a public sidewalk along a strip of bars. No one was around. I figured that some drunk girl had lost it. I took it with me, and I contacted her on Facebook. We met up the next day, and I gave her purse back. But I guess it would have been better if I would have kept on walking and said "not my problem." Better for me anyway... if I lived in NYC.


Worst "Dear Penthouse" letter ever...
2013-04-14 06:35:43 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: fredklein: ArcadianRefugee: Because the cops didn't give instructions to pick up the item; the person did it on their own.

Myers' daughter, seeing that the driver left the car door open, went over and peered inside to see personal items that included what looked like a bundle of cash - in reality, a dollar bill wrapped around pieces of newspaper. The girl had called her mother over when another set of police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground, according to Myers' account.

Sorry, I missed the part where they picked anything up.

Myers' account in the article differs from the state's account that said she entered the car and took the property, as well as differing from her own statements to the court, where she said that she intended to safeguard the property for the "arrestee".


The only reference to what happened in the PDF you linked to is this:

"Defendant and her daughter are accused of then entering the car and taking the property."

That's it. No evidence it actually happened, just that they were charged with it. Which matches her story:

The girl had called her mother over when another set of police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground, according to Myers' account.

"Get on the floor? For what?" Myers recalled telling the officers.

The officers took them into custody...


I mean, you do realize that being accused of something doesn't automatically make you guilty of it, Right? Cops accuse people of stuff as an excuse to arrest them all the time. Fark just had an article about a cop arresting a guy for video recording him 'because the cell phone might have been a weapon'. With cops pulling bullshiat like that, I trust I'll be forgiven for not taking them at their word all the time.

The article also seems to imply they peered inside while the cops were still chasing the subject, while the court decision states that they officers had the "arrestee" in custody and then left with him, leaving his car unlocked.

If the 'arrestee' was sufficiently far away, or around a corner, it might not have been clear to her if they were 'in custody' or not at that exact moment,. In fact, the linked article simply says:

When the driver got out and ran, the officers gave chase, yelling, "Stop! Police!" her suit says.

Myers' daughter, seeing that the driver left the car door open, went over and peered inside ...


...with no mention of how long a time it took, or the state of the 'arrestee' at the time they looked in the car.

And, as a matter of fact,the PDF you linked to has the following:

"...defendant was arrested almost immediately. Had some time elapsed, the police would have been able to observe whether defendant left a note on the car... or whether she instead took [the money] with her or tried to use it."

IF they HAD waited to see her actually take it, we wouldn't be discussing this right now, and she'd be in jail. (Actually, probably on probation, but you know what I mean...)
2013-04-14 06:33:00 PM  
1 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: Leaving bait =/= entrapment.


I'd disagree, but only narrowly.  I'd say in this case, maybe it wasn't quite entrapment, but it sounds like even given that the 'perps' didn't actually take the bait.  If the police had waited, maybe they would have taken them 'money' from the car.  They didn't let them get that far.

I would say though, that leaving money in a car, even an unlocked car, or even an open car isn't entrapment.  Leaving it on a park bench unattended I would say is.  The difference, I would argue, is in a car the person who spots the money still knows that someone owns that money.  Just seeing money, even if it is 'bait' shouldn't count as entrapment.  Money that doesn't have a clear owner though, that's a lot different.  I've found money a couple times.  If it folds, I always try to see if the owner is nearby and return it.  (I don't worry about a quarter lying on the street, who is going to come back for a quarter?- and I don't worry about a penny, because hell if I'm going to bend over for a penny!)

Then there is this:  I once was walking down the street.  The police had a car pulled over along the side of the road.  They had a couple of young men pulled out of the car and they were going through their pockets.  It was a mildly windy day, and about 10 feet down the road from them on the sidewalk there was a $20.  I'd already walked past the officers.  I picked it up and walked pack.  One of the officer looked at me nervously (I know it's always dangerous to approach an officer in a situation like that.  They are sometimes nervous, but there were 3-4 of them.)

He asked me what I wanted.  I said I'd found a $20.  He asked me what I wanted him to do about it.  I sort of shrugged and said, 'I don't know, can I turn it in as lost money, is it yours or theirs?'

At that point one of the young men said it might be his (the cops were turning out his pockets.  It probably was his.  The cop very confidently turned to the young man and said, 'It's not yours' and turned back to me and said 'keep it.'  I didn't know what else to do.  I wasn't going to argue with a cop over it, so I put it in my pocket and walked away.

Never get in the way of a cop abusing someones rights over $20 unless you have to.  (Although, maybe in retrospect it was all a sting!  Yeah, now I don't feel guilty.  It was a sting and as a reward for doing the right thing they gave me $20.

Nope, not buying it.  Sorry random dude pulled over on the side of the road.
2013-04-14 06:16:41 PM  
1 votes:

thamike: Mugato: It's good to know that there's no crime in NYC so cops have the time to engage in entrapment.

When i was waiting tables, I once saved a choking man's life, only to find out later that the four people sitting in the corner cheering me on were NYPD homicide detectives.


Well, they are trained only in dealing with the dead.  What help could they have given?
2013-04-14 06:11:08 PM  
1 votes:
So if anyone finds anything that isn't claimed and takes it, that's theft? Where does that leave treasure hunters? Should Bill Paxton in Titanic have been arrested? Well he should have because that movie was terrible but that's not the point. I've gotten drunk and left my wallets in various places before and I wouldn't press charges on whoever picked it up.
2013-04-14 06:04:27 PM  
1 votes:

albatros183: Words have meaning that's why we have dictionaries, just because cops and judges cannot read them doesn't mean there meaning no longer exists.


And many have very specific meanings in law, whereas their common uises can be rather vague or even contradictory. In law (IANAL), simply providing someone with an opportunity to commit a crime does not count as entrapment; requesting someone commit a crime does.

serial_crusher: Did she commit entrapment?


Think of it this way:

Mom's rule has always been, "None of the children are allowed to eat snacks between 4p and 5p; it'll ruin their dinner." One day, shortly before 4p, Mom

a) bakes a tray of cookies and puts them on the dining room table to cool while she goes outside the house, leaving the cookies unguarded.
b) bakes a tray of cookies and puts them on the dining room table to cool while she goes outside the house, telling the children they may each have -one- cookie.

If the kids eat any cookies and she later punishes them for it:

a) she did not commit entrapment.
b) she committed entrapment.
2013-04-14 05:13:16 PM  
1 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: boyd1031: Read the article the lady that was charged did not take anything she just looked in to the vehicle after her daughter asked her motther to come look at this. Neither daughter nor mother touched or took anything but yet charged the mother!

Yeah, read the article. The only reason they didn't take anything was because the police pulled up before they could. Do you really expect me to believe that it's normal behavior for people to go snooping in a car that's been left open and unattended?


So they didn't still anything or break any law.

They might go and look inside of a car that the door is opened and it was just involved in a car chase that ended with the driver getting out of the car and running.
2013-04-14 05:12:43 PM  
1 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: Mentat: How the fark is this not entrapment?  It's one thing to leave a car or bike in a high crime area and see if someone tries to openly steal it.  But to put on these performances designed to attract the curiosity of bystanders and then nab them for checking things out?  How can that be legal?

Because the cops didn't give instructions to pick up the item; the person did it on their own.

If a[n undercover] cop said, "Go grab that wallet" or "please take the bag from my car and hide it" then it would be entrapment.

Leaving bait =/= entrapment.


Except they didn't pick it up. They just walked over and looked at it. Didn't even touch it.
2013-04-14 05:06:50 PM  
1 votes:

oh_please: After RTFA,  I suspect that she or her daughter actually did grab the "cash", but since the whole bait scheme was so over the top/bullshiat, the judge threw it out, and rightfully so.

Note that TFA is peppered with phrases "According to Myers' account", "Myers recalled", and "the lawsuit says".

Not defending the NYPD in any way, shape, or form...they decided to stage a police chase? Really? REALLY?


The police chase was the most amazing thing to me.  How many people did they put in danger racing multiple cars down a crowded NYC street to try to entice someone into stealing a twenty?
2013-04-14 04:51:11 PM  
1 votes:

Mentat: How the fark is this not entrapment?  It's one thing to leave a car or bike in a high crime area and see if someone tries to openly steal it.  But to put on these performances designed to attract the curiosity of bystanders and then nab them for checking things out?  How can that be legal?


Legal? Laws do not apply to police officers, they do what they want.
2013-04-14 04:49:55 PM  
1 votes:
Farking pigs.
2013-04-14 04:39:12 PM  
1 votes:
A few years ago, during the day, I found a passport on the sidewalk while walking to a bar in an area that police regularly drive through. I took it and figured I'd flag down the first officer I saw and turn it in, which I did. The third degree I received from the officer convinced me to never do a good deed like that again. Should the same situation arise, I will walk right by that passport.
2013-04-14 04:24:04 PM  
1 votes:
RedPhoenix122: GAT_00: bronyaur1: WTF is up with the NYPD? They clearly have WAY too many resources and a truly bad attitude toward their citizens.

Look up the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative.

I'm afraid to.

It's fairly disturbing.  The NYPD basically has permanent martial law capabilities in lower Manhattan and it's extending north.  Plus use of basically every private security camera into a single feed to watch people all the time.
2013-04-14 04:22:49 PM  
1 votes:
Cop: Excuse me, sir, I dropped my wallet on the ground just there at your feet. I can't bend over to get it due to a slipped back. Could you please grab it and hand it to me.

Person: Okay [bends over and grabs wallet]

Cop: You have the right to remain silent....
2013-04-14 04:20:02 PM  
1 votes:
Shouldn't those cops be busy busting people for oversized sodas?
Also, not exactly a shock that big city cops get overzealous and try set the stage for a crime to happen.
2013-04-14 04:18:20 PM  
1 votes:
Yeah...summer of 2001, I'm wandering somewhere up Midtown East after getting my mail one Monday morning when, I think it was a subway stop near Lexington, I saw a lady face down at the top of the stairs, apparently passed out. She was well-dressed with a conspicuous purse filled with instant lottery tickets sticking out of it by her side. People just walked right by her. Oh, but not Mr. Remarkable.

Like a foolish fool, I approached a police officer and pointed out her situation. I'll never forget the cop either, because he was only like five foot-six and his nameplate read "Cocks". Officer Cocks seemed real annoyed with me,  and suddenly a deluge of medical and police personnel appeared out of literally farking nowhere and swarmed around me and the scene. They propped the lady up and field tested her in front of me. She said she was fine, and they sent her on her way. A tall, stern looking medical type doctor man in a white body suit got in my face and loudly inquired, "Are you satisfied?"  I mumbled, "sure", not really fully grasping it yet.

Later in the day, I sat on a bench down across the street a ways, for no good reason. I could plainly see the same lady laying again on the ground at the top of the subway stop..
2013-04-14 04:16:34 PM  
1 votes:
Petty larceny for looking without touching.  Theft of photons.
2013-04-14 03:27:28 PM  
1 votes:
Isn't there a precedent here in the case of Finders vs Keepers?
2013-04-14 03:26:05 PM  
1 votes:
"You'd think that would run afoul of entrapment laws."

He said, naively.
2013-04-14 03:03:50 PM  
1 votes:

Mentat: How the fark is this not entrapment?  It's one thing to leave a car or bike in a high crime area and see if someone tries to openly steal it.  But to put on these performances designed to attract the curiosity of bystanders and then nab them for checking things out?  How can that be legal?


Because the cops didn't give instructions to pick up the item; the person did it on their own.

If a[n undercover] cop said, "Go grab that wallet" or "please take the bag from my car and hide it" then it would be entrapment.

Leaving bait =/= entrapment.
2013-04-14 01:28:12 PM  
1 votes:

nekom: TexasPeace: Twenty-five years ago, I saw an unattended purse under a park bench downtown.  I watched it for few minutes, and nobody was anywhere around it.  It was an area known for lots of tourists.  I was inclined to just leave it there, but I kept thinking how somebody's vacation might be ruined.  Finally, against my better judgment, I picked it up and walked to the downtown police station, where I turned it in.  It turned out that it belonged to a teenaged tourist, and contained nearly four hundred dollars of her graduation gift money.

I almost didn't get involved.  I didn't want somebody to claim that the 6'5" pony-tailed man had just stolen the purse that he was carrying as he was walking down the city street. I did not want the owner to discover or allege any missing contents in the purse.  What if the purse contained drugs, or a weapon?  Should I open it before turning it in, just to be sure?

Thanks, NYPD, for further discouraging Good Samaritans.

These days, I'd be more worried that cops in such a situation would call in the bomb squad to detonate the `suspicious abandoned package'


This actually happened at a convention I was at, once. Cleared the hotel for an hour. Police/Homeland security apparently thought loose bags were 'suspcious'. It's a bloody convention; absolutly everyone has a swag bag, nincompoops.
2013-04-14 12:50:43 PM  
1 votes:
What if I take the cash and wallet to an NYPD station and report it as lost?

/DNRTFA
 
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