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Thread started 10 Mar 2010 (Wednesday) 09:13
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Karma and my beloved 70-200

 
BucketMan
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Mar 16, 2010 13:58 as a reply to  @ post 9807217 |  #226

Wow, 15 pages and climbing, cool.

I should try and clarify a few things, maybe I ad not stated some things as clearly as I should.

FMX: My post regarding my life was not intended to be me bragging about my life. What I had intended to mean was I am not about to have issues with the law over $950. Would it totally suck to be out the money and the lens? Of course, thats a lot of money to me and my family. I am very fortunate to have a job where I am trusted by the public at large. My grandfater was a fireman, my dad was a fireman and now I am. Losing my job over lying about having a stolen camera lens is just plain dumb. I have worked very hard to have what I have, why throw it away over a lie? If I lied about having the lens, and then somehow, some way I was found to have it....things would get very bad. Of course there are serial numbers and date codes that would give away it was a stolen lens. Stolen items (serial numbers) are listed in a database, accessible to any police officer, again why take the risk?

So, you might ask, how will they catch me. Well, the cop asks if I have the lens, I say no. He then asks what I did with it. Then begins the sea of lies one would have to create to cover for having the lens. Who did you sell it to, where, how much, etc... If you story does not jive and you begin to conflict things, you're pretty much busted at that point.

So, I get busted with the lens, knowing that it is stolen, THEN I am able to be charged with posession of stolen property, most likely along with some charge of lying to the police. I would then lose my job due to criminal charges and would not be able to support my family. The current job market is horrible for someone with an education, skills and a clean criminal record, it only gets more difficult for someone with a criminal record, particularly for something involving theft.

Then why hold on to the lens? Why lie about it. I talked to the cop, he told me to mail it to them. Something came up with my daughter and I was unable to mail it that day. I had gotten some great advice on here from some folks with legal backrounds and talked to a few cops I know as well, they advised to call the cop back. I talked to the cop again and he agreed it was ok to hold on to the lens and try and deal with the insurance company, so I still have the lens. If the cop told me to mail it down there, you bet your butt I would be in the post office ASAP.

I posted my experience on here not to warn people of Craigslist, not to tell people to run away from seemingly good deals and not to portray myself as some great person on a high horse. I just wanted to vent to some fellow photog's whom would appreciate my situation. I talk to the guys at work and they look at me funny because I even spent $950 for a lens in the first place :rolleyes:, but who is the first guy they look to when there is a big fire and they want pictures taken? :cool: I have been disapponted in some responses in this thread, but thats none of my business. At the same time I have been absolutely blown away by other replies, even by complete strangers offering up cash for me to buy another lens, truly amazing. One member in particular has been awesome. Respecting their anonymity they have offered legal advice and their services to assist in me keeping the lens. I spoke with them on the phone yesterday and felt much better about everything after a brief chat with them. I am truly humbled.

Again, thanks for the replies and advice.


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Nifkin
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Mar 16, 2010 14:45 as a reply to  @ BucketMan's post |  #227

BucketMan you are a top man! Everybody loves a moral dilemma; this is a large part of the reason for the popularity of this thread. But one thing that has been consistent throughout is the fact that you are clearly a man of solid integrity. I know of no-one who would take the loss of $950 lying down, and for anybody to question your motives, as some have done on here, is truly ridiculous. You have every right to question and explore the options open to you; and rest assured that the majority of us are keeping our fingers and toes crossed for a favourable resolve to the situation (basically, that you will be able to keep the lens!). Take care ;)


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crn3371
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Mar 16, 2010 16:08 |  #228

It was clear to me from the first post where you were coming from. You sound like a stand up guy, and you're doing the absolute right thing.




  
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MRagon
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Mar 16, 2010 16:20 |  #229

It's like a soap opera. I have to tune in every day to see what happens next with BucketMan! LOL, I'm not making fun of you BucketMan. You definitely have my sympathy. In your shoes I'd just feel sick. But yes I check every day to see if the saga will have a happy ending :-) We're all pulling for you.


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Jaytypes
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Mar 16, 2010 16:30 as a reply to  @ MRagon's post |  #230

I hope it all ends well for you


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Mar 16, 2010 16:31 |  #231

MRagon wrote in post #9809671 (external link)
We're all pulling for you.

+ 1 to that


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focus.pocus
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Mar 16, 2010 16:34 |  #232

take the kid to civil court... if he was a minor take his parents to civil court... I believe small claims in N.C. limit is $1500...


I know, right? I'm just sayin'...

  
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BucketMan
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Mar 16, 2010 16:46 as a reply to  @ focus.pocus's post |  #233

Honestly, I would like to stay out of court. It would just be an incredible problem with my odd work schedule, watching my daughter when my wife works (whom also works odd hours) and driving to NC or the place in VA the transaction happened.

I would just want to keep the lens with the OK of the PD and the insurance company and go on with life. Not looking to make money from this by suing the kid or his parents. If I do have to give the lens back I will certainly explore options to recoop money through the legal system, but as stated before the outcome I hope to get is to keep the lens either without cost or pay out a small amount to the insurance company to keep it, either way i'll sleep better at night. :)

I justifued the cost of the lens at the time of purchase by not only the price it was offered at, but my birthday was coming up the next month, and what more of an awesome present could you get? So, not only could I possibly be hosed out of the $950 AND the lens, but all the cool birthday present I told my wife not to get me because of how much I spent on the lens, ha ha.

I totally remember the conversation. She was at work when this happened, working the 6p - 6a shift, tried to call her at work to get the ok to withdraw the funds but could not get ahold of her so I went ahead and did it anyways. ;) She came home the next morning and I used her sleepiness to my advantage. I think all she heard was "I bought a lens...blah blah blah...don't worry about my birthday...it cost...blah blah...I love you sweety."

Then the bank statement came.....

good times. :lol:

Glad this thread has such a following, maybe a transcript can make it into the POTN book? bw!

Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel!
No, i;m not that old, but it sounded cool right?


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H20boy
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Mar 16, 2010 17:49 |  #234

You did the right thing bucketman, don't ever doubt that for a second.

Here's my situation when I had an item stolen, and subsequently recovered a year later. Perhaps give you perspective, and a plan of action.

This was a handgun, stolen from my car, and my insurance replaced it...more accurately, paid for a new one. I was all good. Police call me, my handgun had been pawned. Went to court, the judge gave me permission to pick up the item for my insurance company. It seems the large company didn't have people assigned to do stuff like this. My insurance company called me on the phone after I picked it up from the pawn shop and asked if I'd like to buy it back. I said sure, they asked how much, I offered 1/2 of the new price, they accepted without pause. I filled out a couple pages of paperwork, and it was mine again.

In retrospect, they would have taken ANYTHING for it, even a couple hundred dollars...it was something that they had NOTHING to show for it.

So, in conclusion, my suggestion to you is when you reach the insurance company that settled the claim (assuming it WAS indeed settled), offer to buy it back, shoot them anything reasonable ($250 sounds like a nice number..substantial, but not a slap in the face) and see what the say.

I'll be following the thread hoping for the best of outcomes.


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larrysch
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Mar 16, 2010 18:03 |  #235

I did not read all the posts - but the ones that I did (H2Oboy) and I totally agree with you checking to see if the owners of the lens were covered and paid off by the insurance co. If they take the lens back and do not let the insurance company know - then they have committed a crime. The insurance companies usually sell that type of material very quickly as they do not want to have it stack up on them. Also BucketMan - you did do the right thing. I know that a fireman or police officer can loose his job very quickly by lying. In fact in Idaho if your caught lying about something - (police officers) and are fired from your job for doing so - POST steps in and you are decertified. No longer can be a police officer in the State of Idaho - and probably no place else. Not sure about fire fighters. But I would think you are on the same standards as a police officer. Anyhow - if you have not done so - check with the insurance company - about the lens. I am not so sure I would not make the trip and make direct contact with the owners of the lens. If they have collected - they can not keep the lens. I also agree with NOT trying to do a law suit against the kid - he has nothing I am sure - if he is over 18 his parents are not responsible for anything he does and would you want a scumbag having to pay you $50 dollars a month - for the next umpteen years - knowing where you live - and getting ticked off every day because he has to make a payment to you. I do not think I would.
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Stealthy ­ Ninja
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Mar 16, 2010 20:52 |  #236
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FMX wrote in post #9804740 (external link)
I'm confused on why anyone is telling the OP to do ANYTHING? Wait until they come after it. Its bad enough OP could possibly get the lens pried from his hands... why rush the case?

You're saying what YOU would do, I was saying what I would do. So YOU are telling him to "do" something. Even though the thing you're telling him to do is much more passive. ;)




  
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Mar 16, 2010 21:19 |  #237

That sucks. But you did the right thing. Good Karma will come back to you.


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sinjans
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Mar 16, 2010 21:23 |  #238

Well fella if it does go to court Judge Joe Brown seems to know his stuff :P

Seriously good luck. Seems like you are the most deserving of the lens to say the least.




  
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BucketMan
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Mar 17, 2010 15:20 as a reply to  @ sinjans's post |  #239

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Ok, folks everyone's favorite loser here with another update.

Bad news.

The lens is gone and I am out the money.

The detective called me back today. He had talked with the district attorney and the DA absolutely demanded the lens be sent back as it is needed for evidence in the legal proceedings. The detective, although very nice and understanding did not mix words with me. He asked that I mail the lens to the PD, me paying for the cost of shipping. If I do not comply with this I will be charged with possessing stolen property, the police will come to my house, I would be charged and the lens would be taken by the police.

I can not begin to put into words the feeling I had after having this conversation, I was truly sick in all senses of the word.

The detective again recommended seeking charges against him being the most likely means of getting some of my money back.

Oh, and it gets even better. Yeah, HOW could this possibly get any worse for me? Easy. I am not sure how, or why, but the insurance company has denied a claim against this guy. The total of $14,000 was mentioned again as well. So, apparently this guy is out the entire cost of the equipment. Again, and I can not stress this enough, I do NOT know why his claim was denied. I do NOT know why I was not told this earlier, or if he just found out as well. Also for good measure as I KNOW this will come up again, YES THIS GUY IS A LEGIT DETECTIVE FOR A REAL POLICE DEPARTMENT.

After briefly recovering from that tremendous shot to the groin, I packaged up the lens and a CPL I bought as well and went to ship it to the police department as it will become evidence. I was less than happy and frankly quite surprised to find out it cost me $47.80 to ship this lens.....yes, you read that correctly. So, now I am up to the $1,000 mark....sweet. The shipping cost as I insured the lens, requiring express shipping and had to use their (FedEx) packaging as I do not have the materials to properly ship a lens. The last thing I need is this thing getting damaged in the process and being out even more money.

So, that's where I am at. I am going to make some phone calls tomorrow to pursue criminal charges in Virginia and civil charges in North Carolina. However my current attitude and outlook sees both of these as being futile.

I had a long talk with the wife about this today. She has been nothing but supportive and just plain great about everything. Unfortunately it is through terrible circumstances as these that it becomes apparent what an amazing and loving wife I have. I am the luckiest guy in the world to have her, just having some bad luck now I guess.

We are exploring some financial possibilities. I had mentioned we are traveling to NYC in June. It is possible I can try and get some funds together to buy another. Of course this one will be legit, coming from the mecca itself B&H, we'll hafta see.

I would like to thank everyone again for their kind and supportive words. To the people responsible for this website; thank you for such an awesome place to read and learn about photography, this truly is a "community."
The generosity of the people here is inspiring. Everything from money to professional legal services being offered has made this experience less difficult, thank you.

I will update as I find out more stuff and things begin to happen. The civil case in NC does not begin until April, and is not expected to be completely over with for 6-7 months after appeals that are likely to happen.

I will end with a small ray of sunshine. Once the proceedings are over the lens will go back to its original owner, and rightfully so. So, Mr. 70-200 owner; your lens was great, I treated her with great care and she gave me some awesome pictures. After using that one, I will own another...someday....

Excuse me while I go lay in the fetal position and cry myself to sleep. :)


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alpha_1976
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Mar 17, 2010 15:25 |  #240

that really sucks :(


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