VIC Can Police Search My Stolen Car?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by M Morgan, 2 June 2018.

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  1. M Morgan

    M Morgan Member

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    My car was stolen from my boyfriend's work. He had borrowed my car that day and whoever stole my car evaded police and then dumped it down the road. Police saw my car and saw that a male was driving it (I'm female) and attempted to pull whoever was driving over, with no success and with lights and sirens on they followed my car but they lost sight of it.

    A short time later, they then found it dumped and it had no one in it, however, it was unlocked. They've then continued to open my car and search it and I was wondering if they're allowed to do that as I had not even been notified of the car being involved in any sort of chase, let alone a search?

    They then organised for my car to be towed to a local tow yard. Can they do this? I had not reported it stolen because I found out this all happened by the police themselves and at that stage it had already been towed.
     
  2. Oneman

    Oneman Well-Known Member

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    The tow shouldn't have cost you a cent as it should have been a 'Police Tow' authorised by The Police Service. You are not obliged to pay for the tow as such. However, if you leave it in the holding yard you will be up for holding fees by the towies as the Police have advised you it was towed. The Police won't hold your car at the yard in storage for ever at tax-payers expense, nor they should.

    Your car was stolen and subsequently lost and then located again. Technically, it isn't just an item of lost property but a Police exhibit as they will probably find the 'gentleman' who borrowed your car through fingerprints and other means.

    So, yes, they do have the right to search it for a number of reasons. No doubt they would have tried to contact you as they would have tried to save the department the towing fee and themselves the hassle of being further responsible for your vehicle and thereby leaving the recovery of the vehicle to you. It seems they weren't able to contact you, so they towed it.

    If they had left it where it was and it ended up being stripped or set on fire by someone then you'd blame them for not securing it until you took possession of it. Poor old Coppers. Usual story, they can never do the right thing it seems.
     
  3. Cobra1972

    Cobra1972 Well-Known Member

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    Seems strange that you are concerned about the police searching your car. As 'Oneman' mentioned, this search would be conducted to obtain evidence. That way they can catch those that stole your car....
     
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  4. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    I would not want police searching my car either *unless* they were serious about conducting an investigation to catch the thief. You see, I know police, all too often they will say they do not have the resources to conduct that investigation, so if that is going to be the case then F-off searching my car!
     
  5. Cobra1972

    Cobra1972 Well-Known Member

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    I know Police too.... They like to catch offenders. To do that they will investigate. Initial action will include the Crime Scene. In this case; the car.

    In order to process the crime scene, in this case the car. You need to search it... Common sense really.


    Maybe Police should have a waiver that states. 'You may not search my car if you guarantee finding evidence & catching someone.'
     
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  6. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Kindly read my comment before making a fool of yourself. I have remarked regarding 'police resources' i have said nothing regarding evidence.

    Because my point is, regardless of what evidence they find, even if they find good evidence, they may never have been intending to investigate right from the start if they feel they don't have the resources to do so - which happens frequently, many people have heard this line from police. So my point is, if they never intend to investigate, I don't want them searching my car...

    I want a proper investigation, or none at all. I don't want my privacy breached in the name of a half-assed investigation. However, if they search my car with the intention to follow through, but decided not to investigate based on lack of evidence, well that is a different story, that I can accept. It is a legitimate reason not to investigate further.
     
  7. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about SA but at least in QLD it is not up to you. You don't get to decide.
     
  8. Cobra1972

    Cobra1972 Well-Known Member

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    I stand by my comment. I don't know any Police that would use the 'resources' line. Because they like to catch offenders.

    But let's say resources is an issue.... you still need complete the initial action, to see what evidence you have. You can then make an informed decision about inquiries you need to make, and the resources / time required.

    If you stop police from processing your car, they are never going to catch anyone.

    So, a better path option would be. Let Police do their job. If you are not happy with the outcome, escalate to a senior member.

    If you don't want it investigated. Deny the search and hope your insurance company doesn't use that as an excuse not to pay you.
     
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  9. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    I have had a car stolen before, the extent of police interest was 1 phone call to tell me where to collect it.
    Another time I had a truck run me off the road because i annoyed him driving too slow, my vehicle all smashed down one side, the extent of police interest was, "well mebe he did not see you" No investigation.
    Then there are all the stories from others i hear about of police not interested. So excuse me if i am not overly enthusiastic that police would actually follow through with anything.... aside from handing out petty traffic fines which is the full extent of their purpose in this world as far as my personal experience is concerned.
     
  10. Oneman

    Oneman Well-Known Member

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    Police have a job to do. If they locate a stolen vehicle then they are obliged to at least commence to carry out an investigation for the offence of UUMV. That's because usually they wouldn't know the vehicle was stolen unless it had been reported as such, so thereby, they have to act on that complaint. If they locate a stolen vehicle and it hasn't been reported stolen then they will normally try to contact the registered owner, who, I have no doubt would be asked by the police to sign a request that no further investigation be made into the matter, if the owner didn't want the police making further investigations to try to find the offender. What Cobra is saying is quite correct. Police make investigations and based on those investigations they make a decision whether there is sufficient evidence to continue further with the investigation on the strength of the evidence they have. If there is insufficient evidence to continue to search for the offender then the matter is not closed it is simply left open as there may be further developments in the future. If an owner was foolish enough to insist on no further investigation of the matter by police then you can rest assured he wouldn't have a leg to stand on if he made an insurance claim (and who knows what unseen mechanical damage could have been caused). Unfortunately, by the simple fact that we live in society and execute our rights to walk, talk and otherwise interact with others in society we give tacit consent to police to investigate offences as it is in the public interest for them to do so, and that's their job whether some of us like it or not.
     
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