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  (Source: Gizmodo)
Wired apparently didn't think buying potentially stolen goods was a good idea

On March 28 Wired.com reportedly received an unbelievable email claiming that a tipster had obtained a misplaced fourth generation iPhone.  According to the site, they entered a brief discussion about coverage on the device.  The discussion quickly terminated though when the source start hinting he wanted money. Wired declined to buy possibly stolen property and thus walked away from the year's biggest tech scoop.

Gizmodo on the other hand had took the bait.  Now, not long after police raided the home of a Gizmodo editor, police reportedly have located the seller as well.

A source close to the transaction is quoted by 
Wired.com as claiming that the seller made an earnest effort to return the phone to Apple.  They claim they tried to contact Apple and searched for the iPhone user on Facebook, but couldn't find them.  

They claim the $5,000 "sale" described by 
Gizmodo was really merely for an exclusivity agreement, not the sale of the actual device.  Describes the source, "The idea wasn’t to find out who was going to pay the most, it was, Who’s going to confirm this?"

The finder is reportedly a college-aged Silicon Valley man.

If the search warrant against Chen is any indication, the man may soon face criminal charges.  Police obviously aren't buying the exclusivity fee claim, particularly after 
Gizmodo admitted in writing to buying the phone and numerous staffers at the site commented on the device's purchase, including site owner and Gawker President Nick Denton.

The police reason that if the finder wanted to return the phone, why didn't he just turn it in to police?  That, after all, is the legal approach if you discover something valuable that didn't belong to you.



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I don't know the law in cali
By NullSubroutine on 4/28/2010 9:40:23 AM , Rating: 4
I used to be a police dispatch in another state, and at least in that state, you was never required by law to turn found property into the police.

I took many calls that someone had found some property, we took a report of what was found, and contact information of the person who found it. We would ask if they wanted the owner of lost property to contact them directly (giving out their info) or if we should contact them should the owner contact us.

With exception to wallets, purses, and sometimes phones we did not often take possession of property. Not only did we not have inventory space to hold everyone's lost/abandoned property, but it is a liability for the police office and individual officers.




RE: I don't know the law in cali
By mindless1 on 4/28/2010 8:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you. So many on DailyTech seem to have assumed the person finding an item is automatically under some legal obligation to give it to someone else when it is often not true.

They don't even make the distinction that giving an item to someone else is not a guarantee of it returning to the rightful owner. Certainly it is the "right thing to do" to reunite an owner with their property but so often people imply morality is legality (until it benefits them personally to declare otherwise).


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