Stealing By Finding

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Stealing By Finding

Post  adrian ss on Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:25 am

For the first time in 58 years of metal detecting I had a cleaner/Ranger or something or other come up to me at Pine Island and tell me that I could not keep anything of value that I find and that it must be handed to the police lost property dept.

We are all aware of this without being told by a cleaner, What on earth could have been going through his tiny mind that would make him feel a need to verbalise this to a complete stranger poking around in the sand.

I said that I know the rules and have been metal detecting since 1960. I also mentioned that I had handed in and or advertised many items of jewellery and that not one it had ever been claimed. I said that metal detecting may be a hobby but it costs quite a bit of money for the detector, travel and running costs, meals and accommodation etc in order to be able to find these lost items and that whenever an item can be returned to the owner I believe a reasonable remuneration should be offered otherwise I will sell the item in order to recover the costs involved in locating the lost item......I have never actually sold an item or asked for reward and still have everything I have ever found).

Now we all know that there is a great sense of satisfaction felt in seeing the look of appreciation on the face of a person when they are handed back a long lost engagement or wedding ring that may have been missing for a great many years or maybe just a few minutes ( one instance brought tears to my eyes) and this is all I need as reward. I and most every other detectorist does not do this activity for reward. There are of course some who run it as a business, which is another story completely.

I just think that when people devise these lost property ownership laws, they  should take all aspects into consideration before labelling a finder as a thief.

Lost is lost and that can be for a very long time and if not for the efforts of the detectorist, salvager etc these items would never ever have a chance of being returned to the original owners or related families.

Just some thoughts to trigger some discussion.

PS.
Some years back one of these park and picnic grounds carers who I had come to know quite well, mentioned to me that he had found a large gold chain near one of the barbie tables. said it was really heavy and that he got 800 dollars for it at cash converters.

Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone. If we all did that there would not be many stones being cast aye?
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Re: Stealing By Finding

Post  peterinaust on Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:03 am

That has never happened to me yet, but I'm waiting for it. Like you I have always advertised any GOLD rings in the local news paper, but have never been able to return an item yet.
Years ago I was asked by a tourist if it was ok to detect on the beach. And there was another that told me to pick up all the other rubbish as well! and I often do.

Not doing the beaches up here they have dried up a bit for me now lots of others detecting same beaches, so now doing parks/reserves/playing fields, and having fun not digging holes just going for just under
surface coins and popping out with a screw driver and hardly leaving a mark.

Cheers Peter

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Re: Stealing By Finding

Post  adrian ss on Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:04 pm

Same here. At the beach I hunt deep in the sand but grassed areas I set sensitivity at lowest point and disc to hit hard on one and two dollar coins. The rest can stay in the ground coz I am now too lazy to dig deep holes in the dirt.
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Re: Stealing By Finding

Post  moredeep on Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:00 pm

I would first asked to see some ID,some people get delusions of grandeur when they pop on a uniform be it a council cleaner etc. If it was a ranger I think they can only suggest you hand stuff
into the police,if unclaimed in ?3 months then it yours.
As to finds, coins are finders keepers which are getting harder to find especially on beaches due to our society becoming more cashless,
Jewelry can be difficult to assess especially how long it's been in the sand/grass,I think the owners/tourist are long gone,if there's name on it hand it in and it might make someone happy?
If there's a legal eagle reading this feel free to advise:?:
That's my 2 bobs worth.

cheers  moredeep


Last edited by moredeep on Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammer)

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Re: Stealing By Finding

Post  adrian ss on Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:49 pm

Looks like "Stealing By Finding" in Australia might be not true.
http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/4413/if-i-find-property-in-public-is-it-mine-posession-.aspx

An extract from the above link

Finding a thing in public

Sometimes people will find things in public spaces such as jewellery or a mobile phone, the question is then: how does the law treat such property? Well firstly, if you have control of a thing, it’s yours. So for instance, going to work and leaving your house unattended, does not mean that you have lost possession under the law.

However, the rule in regards to control is that possession can be lost if someone loses a thing, or if another person takes possession of the thing. So it’s probably a good rule of thumb to always keep your possessions close to you when in public, or you might lose possession of your precious valuables.
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