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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi can you help, my handbag was stolen in a burglary last week,

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Hi can you help, my handbag was stolen in a burglary last week, the culprit was caught, my bag was returned to me, but with many items missing, i.e house key's & lots of personal information with my name, address & d.o.b. Because the person who stole my bag was her first offence, the Police will not prosecute her. Can i take some personal legal action to recover cost's for the locks been changed at my property & other items stolen from my bag. Many thanks

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What was the outcome of the investigation against this person?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Police are not going to charge the woman who stole my bag, as it's her first offence, however it is going to cost me around £300. to change the locks at my property & probably around £80.- £100. to replace the items stolen from my bag

Yes, but what are they doing with her?

They would not refuse charge because its a first offence. There would have to be some disposal unless, of course, they cannot prove the offence against her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She admitted the theft & the police are giving her a caution at a later date, but ideally i want to pursue this further to be reinembursed for my costs

Okay. That makes sense now. They would usually caution her for a 1st offence of theft.

In fairness, you probably wouldn't have been any better off even if she had been charged because it's very unlikely that the court would have made a compensation order in full and not many of the orders are paid anyway.

you can always sue her. You do have a claim for your actual losses.

You can sue her easily enough to recover the value of the items that she took from your bag. It's a small claims court sum and so it will be cheap enough to issue against her.

What you cannot recover I'm afraid is the cost of changing your lock. It's entirely understandable that you want to change the lock but I'm afraid that it's too remote from her action. Changing the lock is a decision you've made and she is not liable to compensate you for the loss. It will be different if she had damaged your lock rendering it unusable. Then a replacement would have been needed. In this instance, unfortunately, you're just taking security measures and that is not down to her I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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