Originally Posted by jragosta
Who cares about other states or countries? This one was in CA - and the fact that it was removed from the bar is sufficient evidence that it met the requirement to be considered stolen in CA.
Do you think that reporting the same lies will make them true?
Under CA law, the phone can be considered stolen - as soon as they tracked it leaving the bar where it was lost.
Did you sleep through the Gizmodo case? Not one part of what you just posted is true.
California civil code, lost property statutes:
§ 2080. Duties of finder
Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Any person or any public or private entity that finds and takes possession of any money, goods, things in action, or other personal property, or saves any domestic animal from harm, neglect, drowning, or starvation, shall, within a reasonable time, inform the owner, if known, and make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property. Any person who takes possession of a live domestic animal shall provide for humane treatment of the animal.
§ 2080.1. Delivery to police or sheriff; affidavit; charges
(a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city limits, and shall make an affidavit, stating when and where he or she found or saved the property, particularly describing it. If the property was saved, the affidavit shall state:
(1) From what and how it was saved.
(2) Whether the owner of the property is known to the affiant.
(3) That the affiant has not secreted, withheld, or disposed of any part of the property.
(b) The police department or the sheriff's department shall notify the owner, if his or her identity is reasonably ascertainable, that it possesses the property and where it may be claimed. The police department or sheriff's department may require payment by the owner of a reasonable charge to defray costs of storage and care of the property.
§ 2080.2. Restoration to owner
If the owner appears within 90 days, after receipt of the property by the police department or sheriff's department, proves his ownership of the property, and pays all reasonable charges, the police department or sheriff's department shall restore the property to him.
California penal code:
One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.
You will note a couple things
-Nowhere does it say or suggest that the finder is to turn it into the establishment. In fact, it states that by taking charge of it, they become "depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire". So, if they subsequently hand it over to the staff and it disappears, they have failed in the legal duty the assumed upon taking charge of it. There is no stipulation in the statute for relinquishing that responsibility to anyone other than the police or the rightful owner.
-The penal code can only apply if the person that took charge of the item did so in order to "appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him". If however, the intention was to restore it to the owner or the police, as called for in the civil statutes, then it is not theft.
So, it is consider stolen at the moment that you took it for your own use. This would be made apparent by selling it (hence selling stolen property), using it for your own purposes or hiding it.You don't know Sergio did any of this. You don't know what person did remove it from the bar. And you don't know what the intentions of that person, upon taking charge of it, were.