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A British Lesson on Trusting the Police

Jock Coats alerted me to a strange English crime, “theft by finding.” In one recent case, a student was arrested and charged with “theft by finding” for going to a police station to hand in a mobile phone he had found in the street. As the student later said, “I thought I was doing the right thing and had it thrown back in my face. I wouldn’t go to the police in future. All I was doing was the honest thing. It was a shocking experience.” (As another example, a local supermarket had a power outage, and bagged up lots of frozen and refrigerated stuff and put it in their dumpster as unsaleable.  People came and took it and were eventually visited by police and charged with “theft by finding.”)

Never trust the cops. As my father-in-law used to say in his Pittsburgh accent, “What do they make pennies out of? Dirty copper!

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7:06 am on February 15, 2011