Charged with theft after finding money? Mass

mac1911

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You find a envelope with $1000 on the ground.
No name no info .
Later the police show up and demand the money or face arrest?

Ok so the details are lacking but
If you find money and you keep it can you be charged in Mass for theft?
Now lets just say "yes" the finder was positively ID'd for finding the loot. He has not been told how but thinks it had to be a "ring" type camera in the area.
Any how I laughed when I heard this story and brought me back to my youth .....finders keepers!
 

CrackPot

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https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter134

Section 1. Any person who finds lost money or goods of the value of three dollars or more, the owner of which is unknown, shall within two days report the finding thereof to the officer in charge at a police station in the town where said property was found, or, if there is no police station, post notice thereof in two public places therein, or, instead of such report or posting, cause notice thereof to be advertised in a newspaper published therein.

Section 3. If, within three months after the finding of stray beasts, or within one year after the finding of lost money or goods, the owner appears and, except as otherwise provided in section two, pays all reasonable expenses incurred by the finder in keeping such goods or beasts and in complying with this chapter, he shall have restitution of the money, goods or beasts.

Section 4. If the owner of lost money or goods does not appear within one year after the finding thereof, they shall enure to the finder, provided he has complied with section one.

Sections 2,5,6 and 7 are all about Stray Beasts which is another thread entirely
 

milktree

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Nothing in the law says you have to turn it over to the police, just that you have to notify them.
 

KBCraig

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Any how I laughed when I heard this story and brought me back to my youth .....finders keepers!
Hmm. It brought me back to my early parenting years, when I asked a kid to explain how they suddenly had this new "thing".

"I found it."
"Where did you find it?"
"Somewhere."
"So you decided to just keep it?"
"But I didn't know whose it was!"
"But you knew it wasn't yours, didn't you?"
*pout*
 
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If it was found outside in a public area, I really don't think any theft or larceny charges would apply. Those charges have to have some other type of evidence that that person actually stole the money. If the money was stolen (by someone who lost, dropped or misplaced it) and then you found it, I suppose you could be charged with possession of stolen property. But actual larceny charges wouldn't really be appropriate.
 

Rob Boudrie

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If it was found outside in a public area, I really don't think any theft or larceny charges would apply. Those charges have to have some other type of evidence that that person actually stole the money. If the money was stolen (by someone who lost, dropped or misplaced it) and then you found it, I suppose you could be charged with possession of stolen property. But actual larceny charges wouldn't really be appropriate.
That's not how it works.
-------------------
I found a wallet while walking my dog. The ID inside was from a town known for social assistance agencies, and had a pile of MassHealth cards for someone's taxpayer funded brood.

No way was I going to return it directly. I don't need some welfare person seeing a middle class guy thinking "If I claim I had more money in the wallet I can make him pay it to avoid me telling the police he stole the money", so I dropped it off at the front desk of the local PD for it to be (hopefully) returned. I don't even know if there was ca$h in the wallet - I never got past the MassHealth cards and a drivers license to ID the owner.
 

GaryO

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I've told this story before but about 10 years ago we were at the family place at the Jersey shore, we were walking back from our morning coffee run when i found an envelope stuffed with 50s and 100s. I was about halfway through counting it and was close to 3k when i realized the money was on the ground outside a nightclub/restaurant. Knowing from the Sopranos and other stereotypical mob shows, Jersey nightclubs are usually fronts for the mob. I flagged down a cop and explained the circumstances. He took down my name and number and took the cash, 20 minutes later I get a call from the club owner who wanted to meet me. I walked down and had a coffee with him, he gave me 400 for being honest but for the life of him he couldn't understand why I didn't pocket it and walk away. It was a good lesson for the kids and I got $400.
 

42!

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So you find $1k cash and no way to identify the owner. You keep it. No problem.
The owner is able to identify who picked it up when they lost it and ask the PD for assistance recovering it. Again, no problem.
The PoPo comes to you and tells you they know who the owner is. You now know who the owner is. But instead of doing the right thing and returning it, you say you're keeping it. The PoPo tells you return it or face arrest for theft. No problem, you know who the owner is and have chosen to not return the money, not right.
 

Rob Boudrie

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20 minutes later I get a call from the club owner who wanted to meet me. I walked down and had a coffee with him, he gave me 400 for being honest but for the life of him he couldn't understand why I didn't pocket it and walk away. It was a good lesson for the kids and I got $400.
You are lucky Big Tony was not meeting to ask you where the rest of the money went.
 

citoriguy

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That's not how it works.
-------------------
I found a wallet while walking my dog. The ID inside was from a town known for social assistance agencies, and had a pile of MassHealth cards for someone's taxpayer funded brood.

No way was I going to return it directly. I don't need some welfare person seeing a middle class guy thinking "If I claim I had more money in the wallet I can make him pay it to avoid me telling the police he stole the money", so I dropped it off at the front desk of the local PD for it to be (hopefully) returned. I don't even know if there was ca$h in the wallet - I never got past the MassHealth cards and a drivers license to ID the owner.
I was merely responding to the original question of the thread. In which the OP asked if there could be larceny charges from found money. I explained that the appropriate charge would not be a larceny charge.

I really don't see how your one experience of finding a wallet has anything to do with what I said. I also don't understand why you would say "That's not how it works" either in regards to my response to the OP.

That being said you definitely did the smart thing by dropping it off at the PD versus finding the owner. Best way to keep yourself from getting any unwanted BS for doing the right thing.
 

Rob Boudrie

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If you find money and you know how to find the owner, you can be charged with larceny. This has happened to people who picked up money that fell off an armored truck and was un-noticed at the time. "Not how it works" was a reference to the fact that "I found it" is not a defense to keeping it if you know who the person is, or of not reporting to the police if it is valued at $3.00 or more in MA. The reason for this is that title to the lost money is still held by the loser and does not implicitly transfer to the finder.

Google "Theft by finding" for many different articles about this, some with state specific info.

My wallet story has nothing to do with that concept, except to observe that returning lost $$ to the rightful owner exposes one to the risk of being accused of taking "the rest of it".
 
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Did you completely miss the fact that the OP said the found envelope had "no name, no info"?

Ok, we will have to agree to disagree on how these laws are applied. I'd rather go on my real life experience over some Google articles.
 
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Found a wallet in the road a few years back. Very little cash, full of ID and CC's. Looked the guy up made number of calls to no avail. Walked into the local PD were the wallet was found. Officer behind the glass starts in with the questions, I interrupted him and asked do you want it or not. He still wants my name blah blah blah... I toss it wallet in the lobby trash can and walk out. Never again.
 

Palladin

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I was 8 years old Walking With My Father in East Boston. I found a wallet with $7 in it, no ID. He took me to the police station we reported it and he kept the $7 in the wallet for 1 year. After that I got the $7
 

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My kid, about 9 at the time found $50 at the playground. To teach him a lesson we took it to the police station. After the amount of time that we were told, I don't remember now, we went back to the police station to inquire about it. Guess what, they stated they had no record of it and know nothing about it. So someone just stole it.

I told my wife never again will we turn in found money.
 

mac1911

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So you find $1k cash and no way to identify the owner. You keep it. No problem.
The owner is able to identify who picked it up when they lost it and ask the PD for assistance recovering it. Again, no problem.
The PoPo comes to you and tells you they know who the owner is. You now know who the owner is. But instead of doing the right thing and returning it, you say you're keeping it. The PoPo tells you return it or face arrest for theft. No problem, you know who the owner is and have chosen to not return the money, not right.
update: Im not going to get into the "right thing" to do. I know what it is like to loose $1000 bucks and how it feels when you get it back.
Honestly because of my dads words echoing in my head.
"If it aint yours dont touch it" I most likely would have walked past a envelope on the ground.

Money was found over a week ago. As little details that I have the finder found the envolope picked it up and asked a few people in the direct area if they where missing "anything"

What the finder asked me was if its a crime to find money and keep it.

i see what the law says but what penalty is there if any if
1. You do not report the finding
2. If finder decides to say , nope dont have it?
3. Or finder says oyeah that envelope and hands it back with $50 bucks in it.
 
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smokey-seven

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I never got past the MassHealth cards and a drivers license to ID the owner.
What ever happened to the old, "Just drop it in a mailbox?" The new mailboxes can't take package anymore and needs to be a thick envelope. I don't think my wallet would go into one of these.

Guess what, they stated they had no record of it and know nothing about it
Police take anything from you, GET A RECEIPT WITH DESCRIPTION as well as a cash count on it. There will be heads to roll if there is no record in the future.
 

CrackPot

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update: Im not going to get into the "right thing" to do. I know what it is like to loose $1000 bucks and how it feels when you get it back.
Honestly because of my dads words echoing in my head.
"If it aint yours dont touch it" I most likely would have walked past a envelope on the ground.

Money was found over a week ago. As little details that I have the finder found the envolope picked it up and asked a few people in the direct area if they where missing "anything"

What the finder asked me was if its a crime to find money and keep it.

i see what the law says but what penalty is there if any if
1. You do not report the finding
2. If finder decides to say , nope dont have it?
3. Or finder says oyeah that envelope and hands it back with $50 bucks in it.
Couple charged after spending money bank accidentally put in their account | Boston.com

Unless you live in suffolk county

Boston's New District Attorney Won't Be Prosecuting 15 Crimes - Including 'Resisting Arrest'

and it is small enough.
 
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