Monthly Archives: February 2011

Finders keepers or imprisonment?

What would you do if you found a £10 note fallen down on the road? Would you rather hand it over to authorities or keep it with the justification “finders keepers, losers weepers”?

Essex resident Sacha Hall, 21, was accused for helping herself to food items such as potato waffles, pies and ham that had been thrown out by Tesco following a power cut.

The police arrested Sacha from her home for an offense called “theft by finding”. The offense carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment of seven years.

Theft by finding

If a person finds an object, he should assume that the original owner would claim it back and not think of it as a freebie.

The finder should take reasonable steps to find the owner and hand it in to the police. If the finder keeps the object, he will be charged for theft by finding. The person in possession of stolen goods is liable for prosecution.

The Theft Act, 1968

In English law, Section 1 of The Theft Act, 1968 states the definition of a theft as “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 ‘theft’ and ‘steal’ shall be construed accordingly.”

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