1 year ago
Last edited at 2:45AM on 11/3/2012
Only in instances where I couldn't determine the owner, and where it seems unlikely that the police could either. [Something like cash lying in a deserted street for example.] In theory, all such property should be turned over to the police. In some jurisdictions the found property is returned to the person who found it if nobody claims it in a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes the local government just keeps it.
I would keep a dollar bill blowing around in the street, i.e. cash that I had no hope of returning. But nothing else, it doesn't belong to me and someone else worked for it, so it is theirs. There is no way to justify keeping what does not belong to you when you can find the owner through reasonable efforts. Except, and there's always an exception, when I find an animal running loose on a busy street, then, if my gut tells me it is not being kept safe and/or well-cared for, I'll take it and find it a new home...no compunctions about that! And have done it more than once. I will also take an injured or sick animal that I find and get it vet care. People that don't feed their pets, or give them vet care when they are obviously injured, don't deserve those furbabies and I'm just the one to take the babies away. If they don't like it, they can hunt me down and we'll have a "conversation" about it...
I try to find the owner first. For example, when I find cell phones, I take them to the cell phone carrier store. They can trace the owner easily. I've returned several. Wallets usually have ID. Those are easy. iPods go to the Apple store. Just make the effort you hope someone would make for your lost item.