Stolen Pins Found Thanks to Local Collectors-Legal Advice Sought

(Topic ID: 152643)

Stolen Pins Found Thanks to Local Collectors-Legal Advice Sought


By Borygard

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Cudaman
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders

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    There are 295 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
    81
    #1 3 years ago

    Four of my stolen games have been found thanks to Fast-Ed in Potosi. The original thread can be viewed here; https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stolen-games-mid-missouri-help-request

    The problem is, they’re at a pawn shop, and the pawn shop is refusing to release them. The Washington County Missouri Sheriff’s Department has put a hold on the games, so the pawn shop can’t legally sell them. The pawn shop has obtained an attorney and is citing Missouri Statute Section 367.044.1 to require me to either pay them for my games, or complete all the requirements listed in the statute. The statute can be seen here: http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/36700000441.html

    Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Particularly looking for someone with legal experience that has dealt with a statute like this. It’s completely unimaginable to me that I’d be required to pay for my own property and/or jump through these hoops to get my property back.

    Really big thanks to local friends and collectors Ed, Chris, and Dave for their help in finding and helping me attempt to get these pins back.

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    #2 3 years ago

    Wow that's good but the pawn shop is bs. I thought they cant sell stolen merchandise and it has to be returned to the rightful owner? Good luck man your half way there

    #3 3 years ago

    not a lawyer but clearly these goods have been "misappropriated" right?

    Good luck with this, it's crappy you have to do this.

    #4 3 years ago

    I'm an attorney, but unfortunately not licensed in MO, and therefore cannot help you (or I would do so pro bono).

    If you're uncomfortable going through the process yourself, I believe you will find a competent local attorney that would help you on a fixed fee basis (<$500).

    #5 3 years ago

    Doesn't seem like a lot to do, do you have a police report, serial numbers, etc?

    1 Provide the pawnbroker with a written demand for the return of such property

    2 A copy of a police or sheriff's report wherein claimant reported the misappropriation or theft of said property and which contains a particularized description of the property or applicable serial number

    3 Signed affidavit made under oath setting forth they are the true owner of the property

    4 Name and address of the claimant

    5 A description of the property being claimed

    Statement of fact

    The fact that such property was taken from the claimant without the claimant's consent, permission or knowledge.

    The fact that the claimant has reported the theft to the police.

    The fact that the claimant will assist in any prosecution relating to such property
    the promise that the claimant will respond to court process in any criminal prosecution relating to said property and will testify truthfully as to all facts within the claimant's knowledge and not claim any testimonial privilege with respect to said facts.

    These documents shall be presented to the pawnbroker concurrently.

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from anthony691:

    I'm an attorney, but unfortunately not licensed in MO, and therefore cannot help you (or I would do so pro bono).
    If you're uncomfortable going through the process yourself, I believe you will find a competent local attorney that would help you on a fixed fee basis (<$500).

    This is what I'm looking for, any recommendations on an attorney? This is completely uncharted water for me.

    It's not so much that I'm uncomfortable doing it myself, it's just it seems that a lot could go wrong with the requirements, and then not only am I on the hook for the cost of *my* games, but their attorney fees as well.

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from Borygard:

    This is what I'm looking for, any recommendations on an attorney? This is completely uncharted water for me.
    It's not so much that I'm uncomfortable doing it myself, it's just it seems that a lot could go wrong with the requirements, and then not only am I on the hook for the cost of *my* games, but their attorney fees as well.
    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    Unfortunately I don't have any contacts down there. Hopefully someone does.

    If you decide to consult with an attorney, you might consider bringing a print out of the statute to the consultation and seeking a fixed fee arrangement.

    #8 3 years ago

    How hard can this be? You have a police report showing the 4 games were stolen from you right? You found the 4 games in a local pawn shop... right where a thief would unload the hot merchandise... What more do the local police need to get the games and give them back to you?

    The pawn shop should be able to give up the name of the person who pawned the games.

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from Borygard:

    It's not so much that I'm uncomfortable doing it myself, it's just it seems that a lot could go wrong with the requirements,

    And if you screw something up, what will it cost to unscrew, if you can.

    Wise to hire an attorney to begin with.

    LTG : )

    #10 3 years ago

    I'd talk to the pawn shop and remind them it is their duty to make sure they are not taking in stolen goods and that if you have to get an attorney you will file a negligence suit against them for any fees you incur from the attorney and court fees.

    This is exactly why I have a legal service. Cost me less than 30 bucks a month and they take care of things like this for me.

    Sorry you have to go through this. Lame on the cops to unless you can't prove they are yours (have record of the serial numbers).

    #11 3 years ago

    My dad has told me a saying in the past which seems to be applicable here: "There's nothing as expensive as a cheap attorney." Depending on the circumstances here, you may not need an attorney, but if you do need one, get one worth their fee.

    -11
    #12 3 years ago

    Unfortunately, the law is likely on the pawn shop's side. You can fight it, but you'll likely still have to pay the pawn shop what they paid then go after the original thief which of course is futile.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    How hard can this be? You have a police report showing the 4 games were stolen from you right? You found the 4 games in a local pawn shop... right where a thief would unload the hot merchandise... What more do the local police need to get the games and give them back to you?

    I had some games stolen from a friends barn. Didn't notice they were missing until I went to pick them up about 9 months after the theft. The reason I know it was nine months is that a friend unknowingly bought two of the games. Actually picked them up from the barn. The seller was renting the home below the property and said the barn belonged to her "uncle". A few games were in the seller's garage and a few were still in the barn. When I was relating the story of the theft to my friends, one of them said, "uh, I think I have two of your games." Small world.

    Even though I could describe all the games and had a witness to their theft, the police said without knowing the serial numbers they would be hard to recover even if I found them.

    #14 3 years ago

    As far as I know with Pawn shops, they are required to hold items for a certain amount of time, and get a daily report of stolen items, if they come into possession of any of the stolen items, they are required to report it to the police. When they took in the games they were required to get an ID of the person selling the games to them. I am no lawyer, but I would imagine this law is in every state.

    I agree get an attorney, as long as you have filed a Police report, the owner is required to return stolen property.. they even have insurance to cover when this happens...

    Good luck, hope you get them back.

    22
    #15 3 years ago

    Sounds like that Chumlee's being a pain in the ass.

    #16 3 years ago

    Good luck Rob. Pawn shops are tweaker conventions and suck balls ; f*** a pawn shop.

    #17 3 years ago

    5. To obtain possession of tangible personal property held by a pawnbroker which a claimant claims to be misappropriated, the claimant shall provide the pawnbroker with a written demand for the return of such property, a copy of a police or sheriff's report wherein claimant reported the misappropriation or theft of said property and which contains a particularized description of the property or applicable serial number, and a signed affidavit made under oath setting forth they are the true owner of the property, the name and address of the claimant, a description of the property being claimed, the fact that such property was taken from the claimant without the claimant's consent, permission or knowledge, the fact that the claimant has reported the theft to the police, the fact that the claimant will assist in any prosecution relating to such property, the promise that the claimant will respond to court process in any criminal prosecution relating to said property and will testify truthfully as to all facts within the claimant's knowledge and not claim any testimonial privilege with respect to said facts. These documents shall be presented to the pawnbroker concurrently.

    6. Upon being served with a proper demand by a claimant for the return of property pursuant to subsection 5 of this section, the pawnbroker shall return the property to the claimant, in the presence of a law enforcement officer, within seven days unless the pawnbroker has good reason to believe that any of the matters set forth in the claimant's affidavit are false or if there is a hold order on the property pursuant to section 367.055. If a pawnbroker refuses to deliver property to a claimant upon a proper demand as described in subsection 5 of this section, the claimant may file a petition in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking the return of said property. The nonprevailing party shall be responsible for the costs of said action and the attorney fees of the prevailing party. The provisions of section 482.305 to the contrary notwithstanding, a court of competent jurisdiction shall include a small claims court, even if the value of the property named in the petition is greater than three thousand dollars.

    11
    #18 3 years ago

    I am a police officer in NC and worked in investigations for several years. I have also worked investigations that lead to the recovery of several items rom pawn shops.

    Once a report is taken from a stolen television and a report is filed, that stolen television serial number is entered into NCIC. If located at a pawn shop the officer should have the legal authority to go seize that item and hold it for prosecution of the offender. I always seized the item and charged the person pawning the item with possession of stolen property and obtaining money by false pretenses listing the pawn shop as the victim.

    I haven't read through the case law of the link you posted but will and report back soon

    12
    #19 3 years ago

    Please see this partial list of Pinside attorneys:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion/page/164#post-2411405

    I'm currently stationed in Antarctica, but am an attorney licensed in Missouri. Though my specialty is in small town pizza law, I'd be happy to broaden my horizons into small town pawn shop law.

    21
    #20 3 years ago

    P.S. I don't need any money, but I could sure use some of your board repair expertise. I think I blew a fuse.

    board_(resized).jpg

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    Though I'm currently stationed in Antarctica, I'm also an attorney licensed in Missouri. Though my specialty is in small town pizza law, I'd be happy to broaden my horizons into small town pawn shop law.

    You lead a fascinating life ....

    rd

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    P.S. I don't need any money, but I could sure use some of your board repair expertise. I think I blew a fuse.

    board_(resized).jpg

    Is that one of those Boeing power supply cards that was sandwiched between lithium-ion polymer batteries?

    #23 3 years ago

    The pawn shop is obviously going to fight this because they are in business to make money, not to do the right thing. They have a lot of money invested. They are going to bank on you giving up. The law is actually on your side here, although it doesn't seem that way. What they are looking for is some form of proof the pins are yours, and your testimony under oath from you. I would just follow the statute and provide what it specifies. You don't need anything fancy, and you don't need a lawyer. The demand letter is just a letter from you saying the games are yours and you want them back. The hard part here is providing some sort of real proof. Do you have a record of the serial numbers? Do you have any pics of the games in your home that would allow you to positively identify them? Any marks or mods that would set them apart from others out there? Anything like that you can cite, needs to go into the letter and into your affidavit. Maybe you replaced a coil and the joint looked crappy, or you used the wrong type of bolt to replace a bracket? etc. Anything along those lines would be good. Just simply, how do you know they are yours? There are sample affidavit examples all over the internet. Just type one up and take it to the district court so you can swear the games are yours and they were taken without permission. It's all a PIA for sure, but easier than replacing the games. They cannot sell the games....their recourse will be back against the guy that sold them to the pawn shop. They want you to also to agree that you will help them recover their money....no problem there since the guy needs put away. Really all of this is a protection thing, and if you put yourself in their shoes, you would be doing the same thing. Without this type of protection, your buddy takes your pin and sells it to the pawn shop. He gets $ you both split, then you go and say you want your pin back and when they hand it over you walk away and they are out everything. Then your buddy repeats the process in the next county......has happened more than once, so yes, there will be a few hoops to jump through, but not near as bad as it sounds. And no, I am not a lawyer....but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......and I guess 25 years on the job doesn't hurt either.

    11
    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    Please see this partial list of Pinside attorneys:

    Here's a complete list of all the Pinside attorneys: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/

    (Sorry, couldn't resist the joke.)

    On a more serious note, I went back to your old thread and found this:

    Quoted from Borygard:

    I have serial numbers of the games, I don't think it's a good idea to post them, but yes, there's definitely a way to identify these as mine.

    Wow. Good for you. I'd be hosed if my games went missing, I haven't the first clue what the serial numbers are. So at least you have that going for you!

    Good luck man.

    35
    #25 3 years ago

    As we all stroll over to take some serial # pics....

    #26 3 years ago

    Good luck Rob!

    #27 3 years ago

    Exactly. I'm going to hide a stamp or logo or signature or something under my playfields out of sight and take photos of all the serial numbers. Maybe drop the trough off and sign my name under the plate where you don't see it when it's installed.

    Getting your games back would sure cheer you up, i'm sure. Hoping it goes fairly smoothly.

    38
    #28 3 years ago

    Drip some blood/semen into your cabinet, DNA is indisputable

    #29 3 years ago

    If you have serial #'s and they are a match.....this is a slam dunk.....no attorney needed. Do the police have a list of these serial #'s? If so, have them make the verification at the pawn shop.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    Drip some blood/semen into your cabinet, DNA is indisputable

    I always inject some DNA into the coin return chutes of every new pin I get.

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from Gryszzz:

    As we all stroll over to take some serial # pics....

    Dammit. I'm at work. Need to do this tomorrow.

    23
    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    You lead a fascinating life ....
    rd

    Says the guy who travels internationally to acquire pinball machines via hearse.

    14
    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    Drip some blood/semen into your cabinet, DNA is indisputable

    Can you imagine the look on the cops face when you tell them you ejaculated in the in the back box just behind the left speaker

    #34 3 years ago

    Temptes to grab some old tokens of the arcade i used to manage and nail them somewhere odd like just behind the top channel for the backglass.

    Pins usually have the serial number in multiple places, right?

    #35 3 years ago

    It's pretty simple, if you can prove the machines are yours then call the police. They'll show up, verify, and then load the machines. Had a similar incident involving a bicycle, pawn shop wasn't cooperating, called the cops and got my bike back. By the way, don't deal with pawn shops, they prey on the people with financial difficulties.

    #36 3 years ago

    The Sheriff's Department has already identified the games as mine. Serial numbers, descriptions, game names from when they were stolen, and even my name sharpied on the side of the new VisionPro monitor boxes. The Sheriff has "released" the games to me and my buddy Chris was set to go pick them up when the pawn shop told him they weren't releasing them. This was earlier in the week, and I only found out today from the Sheriff that they obtained an attorney and are citing this statute.

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    P.S. I don't need any money, but I could sure use some of your board repair expertise. I think I blew a fuse.

    board_(resized).jpg

    No worries, definitely "just a fuse."

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from vdojaq:

    If you have serial #'s and they are a match.....this is a slam dunk.....no attorney needed. Do the police have a list of these serial #'s? If so, have them make the verification at the pawn shop.

    If he filed the serial number with the police report when stolen and dated before the pawn shop took position yes it is a slam dunk. Otherwise the pawn shop might claim you came it, copied down the numbers and then said they are yours. Blood and semen sound like the way to go. I'm pretty sure my Fish Tales has some of my blood on it after it broke my nose on a staircase.

    #39 3 years ago

    Being in law enforcement, I couldn't help but not make a post in regards to your situation.

    I don't know much about Missouri law, but if a police department (or complainant) finds their stolen items in a pawn shop, then the police department would put a hold on those items (as stated). Most pawn shops ask for picture IDs whenever merchandise is bought from a customer. The police department would request the records from the pawn shop of the subjects who sold the stolen goods to them, then (after an investigation or questioning is conducted) would possibly file charges (warrant) against the suspect(s) in question. Then, once the suspect(s) go to court, then the suspect(s) would be ordered to pay restitution to the pawn shop for the money loss. The property SHOULD go back to the rightful owners ( why is this even a question?) Most pawn shops are co-operative with the police, because they want to know as well the people coming into the store with stolen merchandise. That being said, pawn shop owners do dread when we walk into their shop because they know they unwillingly just bought some stolen items from somebody.

    I never heard of a victim having to buy back their stolen goods from a pawn shop, especially when they could prove the item(s) belong to them and/or a police report is filed. I sincerely hope you get your pins back. Bad enough you were a victim of a crime, now you have to buy your stuff back?

    I know it's probably my job, but I can't go anymore to a pawn shop and look around without thinking how much of this stuff is stolen.

    #40 3 years ago

    Don't worry Rob, you'll get your pins back soon!

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from RonB:

    I always inject some DNA into the coin return chutes of every new pin I get.

    Tron glory hole.

    I'm really sorry this happened to you op.
    I hope all turns out well really soon

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    Says the guy who travels internationally to acquire pinball machines via hearse.

    Touché.

    I have yet to acquire any in Antarctica though.

    I did look for pins when I was up the other end at the Arctic Circle in Finland ... Pretty thin on the ground around there.

    rd

    #43 3 years ago

    What about contacting the local TV News Station? They love this kind of stuff. Reading through everything, it SEEMS like this SHOULD be a slam dunk. You were proactive and documented your property and have proof. You have police reports. What else do you need??

    I think maybe the pawn shop is just trying to bully you; which seems very surprising, but that seems to be the case.

    A little (or a lot) of BAD PR from a news station for this pawn shop might just cause them to release your property. Shit, list the pawn shop's name here, I'm sure a few Pinsiders could do some PR damage. This pawn shop is clearly being a d*** over the matter.

    With all that being said, if you're uncomfortable with the legalities of it all, definitely find a lawyer. It might cost you some money in the end, but you'll have your pins back.

    Glad you found them; hope you get them back home soon.

    Chris

    EDIT: Here is the lawyer working on some Pinsider's Predator case: https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/keithinmi While he is in MI, maybe he can offer you some advice.

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from Shiny_balls:

    Don't worry Rob, you'll get your pins back soon!

    ... In time to show them off at TPF, we hope!

    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for Williams system 3-7 sound board potentiometer solutions

    12
    #45 3 years ago

    The pawn shop knows you are in the right, and knows the law is on your side. They are just trying to make it seem like a big pain in the ass on the off chance you might get discouraged and give up. dont be intimidated, and don't lose your temper. keep at it and you'll have your games back faster than you think.

    #46 3 years ago

    I would begin to get all your ducks in a row. Read through that statute and have everything that you need that is required by the statute. I would then go to an attorney and present him with your 'evidence' and pay for one hour of his time. Ask him for any advice he may have and how you should move forward. It may be as simple as the pawn shop getting a letterhead scaring them enough to give up the games. My guess is they have prepaid legal and have really not retained a very expensive defense lawyer.

    #47 3 years ago

    I wish I could help. I'm rooting for you Rob!

    Sounds like the Pawn shop needs to go after the Pledgor. What does the Sheriff say? I would definitely consult a lawyer.

    #48 3 years ago

    Wow.. making sure I take good photos and make some hidden markings.

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop...

    #49 3 years ago

    Hate pawn shops. They enable drug addicts.

    I hope you get your pins back.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    Hate pawn shops. They enable drug addicts.
    I hope you get your pins back.

    I totally agree ... the pawn shops know that most of their goods are from drug addicts stealing tools and small items to support their habbit .

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