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Sold iPhone that ended up being stolen

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by jasman718, Mar 2, 2015.

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  1. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hey everyone! I sometimes buy and sell phones on craigslist to make some money going through college. I bought this one phone and sold it to a buyer. It ended up not working on his network and was classfied as lost/stolen. He called the police and I got a call from a detective saying he is sending a warrant out for my arrest if I do not give him his money back. I have evidence that I bought the iPhone from previous texts and I never knew the phone was stolen. I could refund the guy but it is a principal issue. I do not like being threatened when I do not believe I did anything wrong. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You've made your mind up, so I'm unaware how we can help you further.
    You indicate that you're standing on principal and refuse to return the dude his money, cool.
    All I can add is that the guy probably got a pal to pretend to be a cop to scare the coins out of your hands into his.
    Most cops don't involve themselves in civil matters, and they rarely threaten to put you in jail unless you return money to a complainant.
    I'm guessing the call from the cop was a ploy.
    If the cops do arrive to arrest you, all I can add is to remain silent, don't try to explain your position, don't admit or confess to anything, and don't discuss any aspect of the case. In essence, use your right to remain silent, except name, address, date of birth, occupation, married or single, or any other harmless biographical data.

    In the future, you might want to stop selling junk phones. Why? You probably want to make good use of your college degree one day, and a criminal conviction could thwart that great career you might have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  3. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for your response! But I did not say I made up my mind about not giving the guy his money back. And I really did intend for his phone to work for him. However, it did not, and he took the route of a police report (which I will add contained false information). The phone company classifies the phone as lost or stolen and they cannot dignify which one it actually was. But, he did not mention that, he just told the police it was STOLEN. And I do know for a fact that it was a real detective. I was shocked too. But anyways, they are basing all this on the fact that the phone IS stolen when no one can speak as to if it is LOST or STOLEN.

    I do not sell junk phones. And I have had plenty of satisfied customers. This was the one unfortunate instance. Please give me some insight on what criminal conviction you think I could up against if worst comes.

    Lastly, I would like to state that the detective has been calling my mom (I am 24) to send/receive information. Which I do not understand.

    I truly am not trying to make this situation difficult for no reason. I would prefer for situations like this never to happen. Yet, the buyer did file a fraudulent police report, I have been badgered by the detective, and he has been calling my mom!!! instead of me for some reason. (We are on a family plan and that is the only reason I can think of even though it has no relation to the issue at hand)

    Once again, any insight is appreciated as I do want to resolve the issue, but I am unaware of what I did wrong legally to deserve this treatment from a detective!

    Personally I believe I am a victim or libel and slander. But that's just my opinion.
     
  4. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Y'know, I'm thinking you should get that detective's details. That's the first thing you should do.

    Because I agree, that does not sound legitimate to me.
     
  5. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the reply Proserpina!! Can you elaborate please..any thoughts/comments at all are appreciated :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  6. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And I am looking at this from strictly a legal perspective. I do think it is BS to screw someone on a sale on craigslist (even though it happens all the time) but we are much past that issue now.
     
  7. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    It is a crime to sell a stolen item. You are admittedly in the business of buying and selling. Once the police come, I'm sorry, I'll refund that is likely a done deal and you face the charge of selling stolen property. You can argue principal to the judge. I suggest you hire a lawyer for criminal court.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Proserpina suggested you make some discrete inquiries and discover all you can about the detective who persistently calls your mother and appears to be a collections agent for some unknown dude buying junk phones off of CraigsList. Yeah, I know you don't think of the phones as junk, but humor me. Now off you go, collect as much information as you can about the diligent detective (I love alliteration)!!!

    After you've gathered the diligent detective's particulars (name, department or agency, etc...) let us know and we'll further advise you. If you're arrested before you can report back to legal HQ, remember "use your right to remain silent, don't admit or deny anything, and only reveal your name, address, DOB, and other innocent biographical data)!
     
  9. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of diligence, it never occurred to you to call in the IME number to potential carriers before buying it to see if it was owned by the seller?
     
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  10. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Disagreeable, I am aware that is illegal to sell stolen items, so thanks for that note. But please tell me how one can dignify if an item such as cell phone is in fact stolen as appose to lost. I have contacted t mobile and verizon and both of them have said lost/stolen is the category and they have no further information on how to specify if it was in fact "lost" or "stolen".

    And speaking of diligence, I have sold 20+ phones on craigslist, every single buyer requests the imei to do their own research. This buyer did no such thing. It is not my responsibility to do research for them to see if the phone will work for them. Does Best Buy make sure you have an hdmi port on the back of your tv before selling you and hdmi cord?? No, because that is the responsibility of the buyer. Why is this any different

    I do appreciate all responses, but please follow through with your opinions

    Thanks army judge, I appreciate it. I would like to note this is taking place in the heart of CHICAGO of all places. I find it amusing because I watched my car get hit by someone who was parallel parking. I retrieved their plate number and went to the local police station. I was advised to suck it up because making an insurance claim would only hurt me. Even though I WATCHED the person hit my car, they said there is nothing they can do unless I saw the persons face and can identify them. It frustrates me how they will not help me in that instance but have hassled me in this matter. A matter that is from a sale on craigslist.
     
  11. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    army judge that is exactly what it feels like, a collection agent. He is hassling my mother to get me to refund the buyer. I have never heard of anything like this.
     
  12. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    It is if you do not want to buy and sell stolen goods, risking jail or judgment.
     
  13. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And disagreeable, I do not know if you are confused or what. I am the seller, not the buyer. Please make sure what you are saying makes sense if you are going to post otherwise I just have to ask you to clarify. Thank you every one
     
  14. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    You did sell property which is being considered stolen property. If it was me, I would refund the money but that is just me. You said in your 2nd post you know for a fact it was a real detective calling.
     
  15. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    I am very clear. You bought a phone that you could have verified did not belong to the seller (it was lost or stolen, the finder does not legally own it), bought it anyway, sold it for a profit and now may go to jail for doing so. It is abundantly clear what is going on. What is also clear is that you refuse to take responsibility for your poor choice and intend to see if it escalates to criminal charges against you.

     
  16. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Betty3. Verizon and t mobile have told me directly the phone is not classified as "stolen". It is "lost or stolen" and that is a major difference. I do understand your view though.
     
  17. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    Please show me the statutes in your states law that says found property is the property of the finder and the owner loses their right of ownership. BTW, Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers is not a state statute.


     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  18. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Disagreeable, so if I find a dollar on the ground and cannot verify who the dollar belongs to. Then me spending the dollar could result in jail time. Please tell me how this example differs from mine because people find stuff all the time and keep it for their own personal use. I am sure you have picked up a penny off the ground before. Why is this different?

    The person I bought it from said they found it and posted a lost ad on craigslist. No one claimed it or contacted him or the phone so he sold it.
     
  19. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    The dollar is not traceable. The phone is. Perhaps you should go find a Ferrari on the street and claim it the same way.

     
  20. jasman718

    jasman718 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You speak like you so knowledgeable on the topic. No phone company will tell you who the original owner is. I bought a phone because I trusted the seller, did nothing wrong there. I then resold the phone to a buyer who wanted the phone, did nothing wrong again. Maybe my ignorance caused an issue but nothing I did can result in jail time but your responses are appreciated :)
     

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