WA Police won't return stolen/recovered motorbike

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Justinski, 12 March 2018.

  1. Justinski

    Justinski Member

    Joined:
    12 March 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any kind of advise would be really appreciated.

    I'll jump straight into it.

    Background

    Around April 2017 I had my vintage Yamaha XT250 stolen from the front yard of my house in Fremantle, WA.

    On February 26th 2018 I received a calling card from WA Police to contact an officer.

    On February 27th 2018 I called the officer at Busselton police Station who informed me that my bike had been recovered.

    Yippie! I was not expecting that in a 100 years!!!

    How it was recovered?
    I spoke with the officer over the phone and he told me that a third party had taken the bike into a DOT inspection centre to get the bike inspected for licensing, and the inspector had gone to log the bike's VIN number into the system, where it had come up listed as stolen, the inspector subsequently called the police who came and recovered the bike. The officer also stated that the third party had bought the bike from Gumtree (unlicensed) and that the bike had been thorugh 4 sets of hands prior to coming to the last third party. The bike was down in Busselton police station (3 hours south of Perth).

    Me
    Great, when can I come and pick the bike up?

    Officer
    "Well here's the thing, do you actually still want the bike? What sort of condition was it in when you had it stolen?

    Me
    Yes I do very much so want the bike and it was in good working order when it was stolen.

    Officer
    Ahh you see the thing is this guy innocently bought the bike and spent some time getting it roadworthy and doing it up with new parts and he is asking if you would let him have the bike, or come to an arrangement?

    Me
    OK. I am happy to contact him.

    Next Steps
    I texted the third party and offered to cover his costs within reason, he replied that he had virtually rebuilt the bike and would offer me back a frame, forks and wheels (no tyres mind) and no money or any of the other original parts (basically a whole bike) that he had now disposed of. I said thanks, but no thanks and I'll look to recover my bike.

    Incommunicado
    I attempted to contact the officer leaving messages at the police station and various voice messages and text messages on the mobile number he had given me (all to no avail).

    I then received an email from the third party (unsolicited as I never gave him my email address not permission for the officer to pass it on) pleading with me to compensate him for the money and time he spent on the bike. I replied that once I had recovered the bike I would certainly consider it and would assess the amount once I had actually seen the bike! I also asked him not to contact me via email any further.

    I then attempted to contact the officer to arrange pick up of my bike (as it is a 6 hour round trip and wanted to make sure it was not a waste of time) again I left VM and Text messages.

    I then received the following email:

    Good Afternoon Justin.

    I have tried to call you over the past few days, as after speaking to XXX XXX on Wednesday at the Busselton Police Station it would appear that you have not been able to come to an Arrangement.

    I have taken legal advice from the Police Departments LEGAL SERVICES in relation to your stolen Yamaha XT250 Motor Bike and I wish to advise your Motor Bike is now part of a “ Property Interpleader Proceeding ”

    XXX will be supplying me with the relevant documentation as to his expenses etc. during the next few weeks so I can forward them into LEGAL SERVICES Dept for them to make a determination on this matter or refer it to the Magistrates Court for a ruling.

    If you could kindly do the same and email me a copy of the Bike Registration Papers/ Photo’s etc you may have.

    Your Yamaha XT250 Motor Bike will therefore be kept, with no coast to you, in a safe storage area at the Busselton Police Station.

    I’m now on leave until the 28th March, hopefully yourself and XXXX may come to some resolution during this time.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions


    Kind Regards

    Other INFORMATION

    Bike was not insured (I am still 100% registered owner)
    Bike had no debts or judgements against it
    I don't have any debts or judgements against me (civil or gov)
    Bike was fully licenced and in good running order when it was stolen

    I was under the impression the guy who sold the third party my bike (for $1200 BTW) would be the one who would be getting the grief, not me? I just want my stolen property back........then I can consider giving some compensation etc....Is that too much to ask?

    Any pointers on what is going on here? I thought “ Property Interpleader Proceeding ” was a civil action? why are the police actively pursuing this matter?

    Help!
     
    #1 Justinski, 12 March 2018
    Last edited: 12 March 2018
  2. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    835
    Either they'll agree to return the property to you, or refer it to court.

    Police can't unilaterally decide to give your property to a 3rd party, even if the 3rd party is innocent of wrongdoing.

    It is not your fault the 3rd party elected to spend money on the bike BEFORE attempting to register the bike. Remember the 3rd party could have checked ownership before purchase and most likely he did not.

    Suggest you send something along these lines in writing to the legal services department.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Justinski

    Justinski Member

    Joined:
    12 March 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    It's interesting that the seller of the (stolen) bike has no involvement in this process.

    I thought that it was buyer beware policy. Subject to section 21(1) and 24(1) of the sale of goods act. And that any compensation would come.from them.....
     
  4. Justinski

    Justinski Member

    Joined:
    12 March 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for replying by the way, appreciated.
     
  5. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    16 February 2017
    Messages:
    1,697
    Likes Received:
    352
    I don't know what legislation has done along the way, or the peculiarities of WA (so, in other words, take this with a bag of salt instead of a grain) - but my understanding of property laws is that if you attach a fixture to an item of property it becomes part of the property. I'm using the generic term 'property' - not just land and buildings.

    It can be a little hard with fixtures that can be taken off again, but if its a replacement part (including, say, an engine) which is not removable without affecting the overall usefulness of the property then it generally has to stay.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Justinski likes this.
  6. Jonathan Acosta

    Joined:
    15 February 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I've recently had a similar issue happen. I reported my KTM Duke stolen a couple of years ago, after 6 months I had a call from WA police to say that the case had gone cold and they would no longer actively search for my bike. I understood at the time but asked them to ensure that the VIN remained on TRELIS in case it showed up someday... Got a call today from the DOT licensing office to advise that someone had taken my bike in for inspection. Great news except that it has opened a big can of worms. WA Police had recovered my bike a year ago and never got in touch with me. They auctioned it off and some unsuspecting guy has fixed it up and taken it to be re-licensed...

    Would be interested to know how your case ended and if you ever got your bike back? My bike is being held by the DOT for the time being and I managed to have a look at it. It only had new mirrors and the headlight replaced so I doubt the new buyer invested much in to it.

    Cheers,
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    835
    Generally police auctions offer a clean title so you may not be able to recover the bike. Check into the laws around police auctions in what State you reside.

    You may have a slim chance of a claim against the police :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...
gt;