Monday, April 20, 2009

Theft by finding?

Here's an appalling story:

Paul Leicester, 18, played the Good Samaritan when he discovered the handset lying in the street.

He rang the last number dialled and told a friend of the owner he would leave the phone at a nearby police station. But officers arrested him for “theft by finding”, held him for four hours and took a DNA sample.

"Theft by finding?" WTF? Even if he had tried to keep it, doesn't the act of "finding" imply abandonment by the original owner?

Anyway, here's a funny response:

I think it's all a Monty Python sketch.

"I'd like to return this cell phone."

"Markenson's, two doors down, thank you."

"No, no. I didn't buy it, I found it."

"Best of luck getting a refund then, thank you. Good day."

"No, you don't seem to understand. I'm turning it in to you."

"If Markenson's won't give you a refund, why should we?"

"No! You're the police! I found this cell phone and I want to return it to its original owner."

"Oh, I see. Harry, have any of the boys reported a lost cell phone?"

"Don't think so, Grimm."

"Sorry, it's not ours. Perhaps someone at Markenson's lost it. Good day."

"Damn it all! I know who the owner is! I called them on this very phone! They're coming hereto collect it as we speak!"

"Why would they be coming here? We don't have it."

"Of course you don't, you git! I have it! It's right bleedin' here!"

(shows the officer the phone)

"So the owner of that phone..."


"is coming here..."


"to pick it up."


"And what, pray tell, are you doing with it?"

"I found it!!"

"Oh, did you?"

"Yes, I did."

"And how did you find it?"

"It was just laying there."

"Was it?"


"Alright, you're going to have to come with me, Mr. Findy Fingers."

"What for???"

"Are you or are you not the owner of that phone there in your hand?"

"I'm not!"

"So you admit it!"

"This is insane! I found it! It was just laying there!"

"That's what they all say. Come now, let's have a DNA sample."

"Oh, bollocks!"

"No, sir, we just swab your cheek. That's a good chap. Come along."

"This is ridiculous! I merely found this phone and turned it in out of a sense of civic duty! Ididn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition!

(looks at door)

"I said, 'I didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition!'"

"Yes, we heard you, sir, didn't we, Harry?"

"Loud and clear, Grimm."

"But I thought..."


"Then this isn't...?"

"Afraid not."

"I see."


"So you'll be wanting my DNA then?"

"There's a good chap. Has anyone ever told you you look like Michael Palin?"

"I get that a lot."

(The door opens. An Eric-Idle-looking fellow comes in.)

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Ah, yes, I'm here for a phone?"

"Markenson's, two doors down, thank you."


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