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  #61  
Old 05-11-2009
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Thanks for the Comedy

Scotty, first I feel for you. There is no worse feeling than having your stuff stolen and $1,500 for a bimini is not small change. It's also the feeling that this guy felt bold enough and comfortable enough to spend enough time aboard your boat to break it down and unbolt it.

But frankly what some of these folks are telling you is downright laughable! I can only imagine they don't live in an urban area. An urban cop isn't going to look at something like this as a major crime. They'll see it as an annoyance. Period.

Finger prints? Forget it. They've been watching too much CSI. I couldn't get the Philadelphia Police to finger print my wife's car when it was stolen, chopped and the hulk left abandoned on the street. I'm not sure Philly PD would bother to collect finger prints at a murder scene let alone for a stolen bimini.

Show up at the boat with a couple of guys and threaten the scumbag? Might work if he's just a sh!t head. But what if he's more than that? You’ll get hurt and maybe charged with assault and he can claim self defense. And he knows where your boat is left unattended on a mooring. If you were the type to solve your problems Dirty Harry style you wouldn't have started this thread. If you're not already well versed in violence it's a really bad idea to start now.

You have a leg up with a friend in the BPD, but the local precinct doesn't seem to care, which tells me they think it's an annoyance.

Your best bet may be going down with your BPD friend. Let him do all the talking. Cops have a pretty good sense of people and he'll have a feel pretty quick for whether this guy really stole it. Cops also know how to put the fear of God into someone, and that is your best, and probably only real shot of getting your bimini back.

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  #62  
Old 05-11-2009
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The second most interesting thing about this thread has been simply seeing other people's personal styles, how they would handle the situation were they in the OP's shoes. It's been very educational!

I'm left with the impression that thieves in the city have an easy life if people are afraid to even walk up to somebody and demand stolen property be returned to them. It seems like something that would feed on itself - thieves have it easy, then people are afraid to confront them, then they have it even easier and get more brazen, and people get even more afraid, etc. No wonder there is so much crime in the city.
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  #63  
Old 05-11-2009
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I have the solution! Talk about it on the internet!
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  #64  
Old 05-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
maryland is a one party state when it comes to conversations, ask monica lewinski.
Actually Linda Tripp was indicted for violating MD wiretap laws. Got off b/c her immunity w/ the Feds would have kept most of the evidence out of court.


But as far as the bimini, I'd go over w/ your cop friend and pictures and ask where he got it and if he has a receipt and explain that it's JUST LIKE the one that was recently stolen from you. Gives him the opportunity to claim he got it from someone else.
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  #65  
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I've given this alot of thought and the reason the police are giving you for not getting involved does not hold water.

There are a lot of valuable items that don't have serial nuumbers. Hand tools and building supplies lead the list. If in fact the police would not follow up on anything without a serial number, lumber and building supplies are free for the taking. A guy could build a heck of a house from visiting job sites late at night with no worry about prison. Using the no serial number standard, if you can leave with it, then posession is the law. Heck anything at the marina, on the docks, lines, anchors, coolers, bumpers etc are free for the taking...

And, maybe it is just here where I live. But, I have friends that are police too, and if I called them about something like this, they would have already ran the boat, the girlfriend and the guy if they had his name. They also would have already stopped by and left their card on the boat with instructions to call them.

Something doesn't make sense. Maybe the police there just aren't interested in the theft, but if you make enough noise and climb the ladder at the PD or the District Atty's office, this will defintely be handled...

and finally, isn't anything over $750.00 a felony? Did he steel just the cloth or the frame too? If the frame is included this is a felony crime.

or am I missing something?

Last edited by Jonesee; 05-11-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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  #66  
Old 05-11-2009
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There's a big difference between taping a phone conversation, which is under WIRETAP law, and taping a confrontation in PERSON, which is not governed by WIRETAP law, but usually by PRIVACY laws..

In most states, you can tape an in-person conversation between people provided at least one of the parties is aware of and has consented to the recording. In a public area like a pier or marina, there is little expectation of privacy, so there's no real invasion of privacy issue. YMMV, as IANAL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Actually Linda Tripp was indicted for violating MD wiretap laws. Got off b/c her immunity w/ the Feds would have kept most of the evidence out of court.


But as far as the bimini, I'd go over w/ your cop friend and pictures and ask where he got it and if he has a receipt and explain that it's JUST LIKE the one that was recently stolen from you. Gives him the opportunity to claim he got it from someone else.
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  #67  
Old 05-11-2009
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Your Dockmate Most Likely Reads Sailnet

I'd be surprised if the guy who "borrowed" your biminia hasn't been appraised of your efforts and may even read sailnet! He could be posting as I type! No, I'm not the guy.
It's probably a good time to approach him and ask him who made his bimini. It could go like this: "Hey it may be a coincidence, but you just bought a bimini and mine was stolen. Could you help me out and tell me who you sold you the bimini, 'cause it looks exactly like mine."
"Do you mind if we compare the pictures I have? Someone may have sold you a stolen bimini, though you probably weren't aware of it."
Use the "I'm confused" approach. "I'm confused. You bought a bimini and it looks exactly like mine, in fact I have pictures. Who did you buy it from? It would suck if you bought a stolen bimini. Maybe I can help find the guy who sold it to you so we can have him arrested"
My 2 cents, but I'd quit writing about this and take action. I have a friend who worked at the marina and knows about this thread, so your dockmate may also know. Just be cool about it , dont' be accusatory and enlist his help to find the thief. Bring your officer friend with you but be friendly. Get his address and send him a letter, cc the manager of the marina and whoever else you want to enlist you in getting this back. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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  #68  
Old 05-11-2009
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The two mistakes you made were posting this topic and contacting the police.
both will get you nothing back but a knock on the door if karma pays him a visit.
You should have shut your mouth, kept it to yourself and got some payback on the bastard.
I would rather let him have the bimini knowing I caused him or his boat twice the pain clueless to why it happened.
Weather he stole it himself or bought it stolen, the scumbag sure as hell didnt go to get it made for his boat.
The only thing you can do "legally" now is go and ask for it back.
If he doesnt cave your s.o.l. and if you take it further than that youll wish you didnt later.
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  #69  
Old 05-11-2009
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Short and Sweet

Yado, and others, have some good ideas.
  • Walk over to him and Introduce yourself
  • Strike Up a Friendly conversation for a few minutes about his boat , etc., but then in a non-accusatory way, ask him about his bimini
  • Ask him where he got his bimini. See what his response is. If he says from a friend, then ask if you can get there number so you can have one made, since one almost identical (size shape and color) to his, is missing from your boat, and you need to get another made. Tell him his looks well made, like yours was. Again, you have to read his response. If he hems and haws he might be BS-ing you
  • If you think he is BS-ing, say to him, again in a non-accusatory way, that you filed a police report with your friend who is on the police force and the the marina folks and police are investigating about your missing bimini.
  • Then ask him if he wouldn't mind keeping an eye and ear out for you and if he becomes aware of anything, let you know. Since he is now your "friend"
  • Tell him, you just want it back, no questions ask as it was pretty expensive.
  • Chit Chat for awhile and then politely leave.

Go down alone, no need to bring the "heat".

I think that with this tack, you will learn a lot and tell a lot without any confrontation or animosity

Once you leave, if the bimini that he currently has is indeed yours, you let him it know yours, similar to his, is missing, have already reported it, there is an investigation, and also let him know that you just want it back without any questions and are not looking to press charges if it is returned. You may find one night that the bimini magically returns, albeit not installed.

If it isn't yours, he shouldn't be offended at all.

DrB
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  #70  
Old 05-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
There's a big difference between taping a phone conversation, which is under WIRETAP law, and taping a confrontation in PERSON, which is not governed by WIRETAP law, but usually by PRIVACY laws..

In most states, you can tape an in-person conversation between people provided at least one of the parties is aware of and has consented to the recording. In a public area like a pier or marina, there is little expectation of privacy, so there's no real invasion of privacy issue. YMMV, as IANAL.

Hey, other poster was the one that brought up the Lewisky situation. And not EVERY state permits surreptitious taping of a conversation; you need consent of ALL parties. I'm just saying... be careful you don't inadvertently get in more trouble. Might want to read THIS..."Can We Tape?"

Last edited by sailordave; 05-11-2009 at 05:20 PM.
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