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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good morning, I am after some advice please, recently I

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Good morning,
I am after some advice please, recently I had a car stolen from my drive - whilst the car was recovered, it was partially stripped. The police have a number of car parts in their possession from the raid that recovered my car, but as no serial numbers are present on the doors, bonnet, boot etc - they can not say that the parts are definable as mine.
Where do I stand legally, could I potentially lay claim to parts in their possession based on photographic evidence of the parts.
Your help, guidance and pointers to legal documentation for this common law matter would be greatly appreciated.

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

York are one of several of the same make model and colour, or found at the same location?

What exactly is it that you want to know about this?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My car is one of 20 cars recovered from the site raided by the police. With this obviously there are a lot of individual car parts recovered. These need to be identity, but won't have a serial number attached to them and the only way them can matched is by colour. This clearly is no guarantee of ownership as far as the police are concerned.
What I want to know is under common law, what rights do I have to claim parts back.
Do you know how many cars of that make model and colour were recovered?Have you asked?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
no not directly, they indicated that mine was the only Jaguar recovered, but the issue for them and a stopping point, is that they are working to serial numbers. Obviously a large majority of the parts won't have this information on them.
Does common law and are there documents I can access, that allow me to lay claim on these items, given that a reasonable assumption based on colour and car specifications match the parts they have in storage?
Sorry for the delay. I will look at this now.

Thank you. All that will happen to these items is that they will eventually be scrapped and therefore not letting you have the Jaguar parts obviously makes no sense.

If you have been paid out for the theft of the car on your insurance, regardless of the identity of the parts, they do not belong to you but they belong to the insurance company. You do not mention that but I thought it was worthwhile mentioning the point.

It may be that you have bought the salvage of the insurance company in which case the part belong to you.

The fact that you say there was only one Jaguar recovered makes it seem unlikely that any of the parts belonged to another car in another location..

The cost of litigating with the police (who do seem to be blinkered with issues like this) is probably going to be prohibitive and therefore rather than rush into expensive litigation the first thing I would try would be a letter of complaint to the Chief Constable and if that fails, a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The common law situation is that these items (if you can prove on the balance of probabilities, more than 51%) that they are yours, the civil court would award them to you. Whilst the theft is a criminal matter, ownership in this case is a civil matter.

However even though in these circumstances it seems obvious that these parts have come from your car, if the police steadfastly refused to release them to you (and the insurance company has no interest in them) you are faced with either complaining or litigating.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for that, we have not made a claim on the insurance deliberately, so that the parts do remain part of the car and not the property of the insurance, this is due to the low payout offered by them.