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Finders Keepers? Scavenging laws?

By facet - 24 January 2011 19

gold rings

Does anyone know the law in relation to finding valuable objects in the ACT?

One of my hobbies is metal detecting and in addition to lots of $1 and $2 coins, I sometimes find the occasional gold ring.

I would hate to burden the Federal Police with additional paperwork.  Is there a value point cut off for reporting found objects.  I mean surely there is no point in handing in small amounts of cash.

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Finders Keepers? Scavenging laws?
Mysteryman 4:22 pm 25 Jan 11

Pippy said :

“I would hate to burden the Federal Police with additional paperwork. “

bahahaha what a helpful citizen you are.

104.7 were talking about this exact thing this morning, it was consensus that the karma police would take care of these decisions.

Too bad there is no such thing as karma.

Pippy 2:50 pm 25 Jan 11

“I would hate to burden the Federal Police with additional paperwork. “

bahahaha what a helpful citizen you are.

104.7 were talking about this exact thing this morning, it was consensus that the karma police would take care of these decisions.

facet 9:58 am 25 Jan 11

Horcrux? nah, I don’t even think it’s gold as the electromagnetic signature is way too high.
Stone is a really cheap ruby and I suspect it was lost by one of our south east asian tourists.
The wedding ring was found outside an under 25 meet market venue and I figure the guy slipped it off hoping to “get lucky”.

LMR 9:17 am 25 Jan 11

I say finders keepers, losers weepers!

Captain RAAF 7:51 am 25 Jan 11

cegee said :

i dont want to alarm anyone but i’m pretty sure the ring on the right is a horcrux.

and the one on the left is surely the ring of power, Sauron will be pleased!

spinact 2:11 am 25 Jan 11

hjholden said :

i believe not handing it in would loosely be considered theft by finding

Theres been a few big cases recently, with kids finding roughly $20k in the NSW bush and a case in Melbourne i believe where someone donated one of their suitcases to the salvos, not realising it contained nearly $100k. I’m pretty sure the person who found the case and didn’t hand it in was charged, cant see your found rings being any different.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1230131/Theft-by-finding-It-s-in-the-bag

Would love to be rich enough to misplace $100k. “Now where did I put that small change?”

creative_canberran 12:55 am 25 Jan 11

It is considered theft before the law. Indeed if the item has already being stolen and you have found it, you may in that case be liable for a charge of handling stolen property.

The Crimes Act defines theft as:
s72: (1) A person steals if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to
another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

For people finding lost objects, s73 is the vital part as you will not be considered acting dishonestly if you:

“appropriates the property in the belief that the
person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking
reasonable steps.”

In simple terms, reasonable steps would be handing the found property in to police who will hold it for a reasonable amount of time and then transfer ownership to you if appropriate if the owner is not discovered.

farnarkler 9:10 pm 24 Jan 11

Gold buyers in Belconnen Mall will be drooling over your find!!

Really, unless the rings are engraved, anyone could say they’re theirs. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

cegee 7:32 pm 24 Jan 11

i dont want to alarm anyone but i’m pretty sure the ring on the right is a horcrux.

georgesgenitals 6:41 pm 24 Jan 11

Do the right thing, and hand the rings in. If noone claims them they will be yours free and clear. If they are claimed, then the rightful owner get’s what is theirs.

Everybody wins.

Grrrr 6:38 pm 24 Jan 11

What possible value would a gold ring have? The owners aren’t likely to be keen to see it returned, right?

hjholden 5:44 pm 24 Jan 11

i believe not handing it in would loosely be considered theft by finding

Theres been a few big cases recently, with kids finding roughly $20k in the NSW bush and a case in Melbourne i believe where someone donated one of their suitcases to the salvos, not realising it contained nearly $100k. I’m pretty sure the person who found the case and didn’t hand it in was charged, cant see your found rings being any different.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1230131/Theft-by-finding-It-s-in-the-bag

Holden Caulfield 5:05 pm 24 Jan 11

Surely the coppers will be able to advise you what is and what isn’t a burden on their resources. If nothing else, don’t you think someone may be missing some jewelery?

131 444

facet 4:12 pm 24 Jan 11

john87_no1 said :

Only the most important law around – your conscience.

Yes of course, Jiminy Cricket 1955

john87_no1 12:40 pm 24 Jan 11

Only the most important law around – your conscience.

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