Len Dastard reports – don’t get caught out buying stolen goods
Usually when you contract for goods you are paying for their title and therefore you are looking to take a legal right of ownership over the goods. An exception to this rule is when a claim is made on goods which are insured. Once the claim is settled the goods become the property of the insurance company.
If you are contracting for stolen goods then you need to be aware that the original owner still retains their legal right of ownership over the goods. If goods are found to be stolen the court can order the return of the goods to the original owner. Whilst it might seem unfair on the buyer, it is also unfair that the original owner has been deprived of their goods. An alternative to this is that the original owner could be compensated for the value of the stolen goods.
The general rule is that you must make the original owner aware that you have their goods and then pursue your seller for any loss incurred – usually compensation. The original owner will then have the choice to take these goods away if they can show that they were stolen.
There are many sites which have the potential to sell stolen goods. Being vigilant should ensure that you do not get stung. Look out for some of the following traits:
• Items still have their security seal intact
• Seller refuses to provide proof of purchase
• Rare goods with no proof of authenticity
• Items being sold in bulk
• Price does not necessarily reflect the true worth of the item
What can you do to protect yourself? You could try the reverse leg slam I once tried in the ring on El Crabbalo in '77. Alternatively, you could:
• Ask for proof of purchase.
• Ask for proof of authenticity.
• Check with your local police station to see if goods have been reported as stolen.
• Search various “checking” sites online.
The situation is different if you obtain (therefore handling stolen goods) the items knowing that they have been stolen. That is a crime under Section 22 of the Theft Act 1968.
Been caught out before? Get in contact with me, Len Dastard, the greatest Mexican wrestler there never was, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Adios!