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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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IF I SEE SOMEONE APPARENTLY DUMP A DAMAGED RUNDOWN BIKE

Resolved Question:

IF I SEE SOMEONE APPARENTLY DUMP A DAMAGED RUNDOWN BIKE BESIDE A PATHWAY AND AFTER TWO DAYS IT IS STILL THERE CAN I TAKE IT AND KEEP IT AS MY OWN? IS IT THEFT?

IF THE OWNER LATER CLAIMS IT AND I RETURN IT CAN I BE CHARGED WITH THEFT?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

The definition of Theft under the Theft Act 1968 is as follows:

"A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly."

S. 2(1)(c) of the Theft Act provides as follows:

"A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to be regarded as dishonest...if he appropriates the property in the belief that the person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps."

So, if you believe that the owner of the bicycle cannot be reasonably traced, then you would not be engaging in theft of the bicycle and you may keep it as your own.

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