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Police 'Steal' From Unlocked Cars

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the necessary-to-destroy-the-town-in-order-to-save-it dept.

Security 38

Robadob writes "Police in south-west London have started to remove items from unlocked cars to protect motorists from thieves. From the article, 'Supt Jim Davis said no law was being breached but admitted: "Technically we are entering the vehicle." But a leading lawyer said police could face civil proceedings for trespass if any items taken by them were damaged.'"

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I'm seeing a trend... (3, Interesting)

SOdhner (1619761) | about 5 years ago | (#29218201)

So, first we have a story about reverse-pickpockets [slashdot.org] , and now reverse-policing.

Oh no... watch out for the fire department!

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (1)

FlickieStrife (1304115) | about 5 years ago | (#29220073)

wow, i wish i had mod points lol. That's like banks withholding your account just in case you become an identify theft victim.

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (2, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | about 5 years ago | (#29227711)

I think I'd be more concerned of the paramedics.

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29238245)

Oh no... watch out for the fire department!

"Ooh, mommy look. Firemen. Mommy, there's going to be a fire."

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (1)

TiberSeptm (889423) | about 5 years ago | (#29248363)

The fire department already does supervise controlled burns... oh god, it's already happened!

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (1)

digitalunity (19107) | about 5 years ago | (#29253365)

This is more insightful then you think, seeing as there have been cases of firefighters being convicted of arson.

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 5 years ago | (#29266679)

I've actually heard about that. I heard about a fireman who was in dire straights financially. He lit a series of fires to get the additional pay that came with actually fighting a fire.

Re:I'm seeing a trend... (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29375299)

Farenheit 451

hey nanny-nanny (1)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | about 5 years ago | (#29218589)

It really seems like the police might have more important things to do...are they police or nannies?

Re:hey nanny-nanny (1, Funny)

brainboyz (114458) | about 5 years ago | (#29234203)

It's the UK, they're nannies with the power to tell you "no" and if you disobey them, they'll tell you "no" again!

I guess this means... (2, Informative)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 5 years ago | (#29228579)

...we need to start funding our police better!

Why not lock the car? (3, Insightful)

mrdogi (82975) | about 5 years ago | (#29229723)

Subject really says it all.

A minor addition would be 'hide the valuable item under the seat' or some such.

Re:Why not lock the car? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29232145)

Because replacing a smashed window is expensive.

Re:Why not lock the car? (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | about 5 years ago | (#29244131)

Because replacing a smashed window is expensive.

Not sure if you were trying to be humorous or insightful, but you're actually being informative.

I know at least three people that live in high crime areas, that leave their vehicle unlocked and the radio removed. They're tired of paying for new windows.

Re:Why not lock the car? (2, Funny)

dave562 (969951) | about 5 years ago | (#29248327)

I do the same thing. I park at a train station and ride the train into work. After having my window smashed out I just leave the doors unlocked now. I drive a 1992 Volvo. If they want to steal that hooptie (and can actually get it to start) then more power to them.

Re:Why not lock the car? (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#29272059)

I drive a Yugo. I hang a $100 bill from the rear-view mirror along with the keys, hoping someone will take it.

Re:Why not lock the car? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#29265529)

My lock doesn't work? My key is stuck? My car isn't worth stealing? You don't know about the taser disconnect switch under the dash?

People still leave cars unlocked? (1)

harmonise (1484057) | about 5 years ago | (#29232085)

What dumbass leaves their car unlocked in this day and age?

Re:People still leave cars unlocked? (2, Informative)

brainboyz (114458) | about 5 years ago | (#29234241)

I know more than a few. The way they see it, anything in their car will be less expensive to replace than the cost of the window plus lost productivity time to take the car to the shop. But, these people also take measures not to leave their iPod, laptop and cell in the vehicle when they leave and if they have to, it goes under a seat.

Re:People still leave cars unlocked? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29234999)

iPod? Laptop?

I've known people who had their car broken into for a couple bucks in spare change

Re:People still leave cars unlocked? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#29235261)

That's the point. If someone is going to steal my $2 in quarters I'd prefer that they not cost me hundreds by breaking the window to get it.

Re:People still leave cars unlocked? (2, Informative)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 5 years ago | (#29237883)

That's the point. If someone is going to steal my $2 in quarters I'd prefer that they not cost me hundreds by breaking the window to get it.

Then there are those of us to drive convertibles who would prefer not to have our roof cut.

Re:People still leave cars unlocked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29245917)

yeah... I have had classmates who have windows broken because someone
wanted to steal their 20 dlls car stereo ... :S

Excessive (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | about 5 years ago | (#29232125)

Police 'Steal' From Unlocked Cars

They clearly have too many police officers with nothing better to do. They should lay the excess baggage off and save the tax payer money and aggravation.

Re:Excessive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29238253)

You'd think that, but I really don't see enough police out on patrol for my liking, and, yes, I live in south-west London. Surely taking stuff from people's cars which presumably then has to be taken back to the station and have a bunch of paperwork done on it is a waste of time. The better option would be to leave a note on the dash, and if someone gets shit stolen from their car because they left it unlocked it is their own damn fault, the police could even discreetly keep an eye on it in the hope of catching a thief in the act, which would be a better use of their time than taking the stuff back to the station. Now if it really isn't illegal for the police to enter my car without permission or a warrant, it damn well should be.

what I would do (2, Funny)

Coraon (1080675) | about 5 years ago | (#29235619)

1. leave a camera in my car 2. let cobs enter my car 3. go to police and demand they arrest the person that broke into my car 4. sue police 5. Profit!!! wash rinse repeat until rich or this stops.

Re:what I would do (0, Flamebait)

jameskojiro (705701) | about 5 years ago | (#29238439)

Good luck trying that in the UK, and especially if you in the UK on a visa. Enjoy your incarceration.

Re:what I would do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29261911)

If you read the article the cops are doing this in London and doing it officially. They look for unlocked cars with valuables on display, try to contact the owner and if they can't they remove the item. Unlike the image shows they don't break anything simply open the door to take plain view valuables and leave a note telling the owner how to contact the police and retrieve the item. They say it doesn't violate any law and I am unsure how this works in London. But if you enter property without permission it would seem like it is trespassing. Now they did say that if you can prove damage was done to your item then you might have a civil case.

No freedom anymore... (0, Flamebait)

jameskojiro (705701) | about 5 years ago | (#29238433)

UK has removed all of the other freedoms from the people there. Why not take the "freedom to be a idiot and leave stuff in unlocked cars" freedom?

People should have to freedom to do stupid things, it teaches people valuable life lessons. When I was young I learned many lessons the hard way and now appreciate what I have learned through those lessons. Let people BE people and let me tell you from my own personal experience people can be dumb at times. It used to be if you stood behind a horse yu would eventually get kicked and it was your own damned fault. Now days we ban the horse or the act of standing behind the horse. Some people NEED a kick in the head by the horse to learn NOT to do it anymore.

Maybe they should just start young and remove the freedom of life for everyone and that would make enforcing the removal of the other freedoms they have taken away much more easier.

Re:No freedom anymore... (3, Insightful)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 5 years ago | (#29248369)

The problem with the freedom to be stupid is that it usually leads to someone else having to clean up after your mistake. The police have to work a lot harder to track down someone who actually stole your laptop than to just hand it back to you. Not to say that they're right in this regard, but at the very least they're saving taxpayer money by reducing the amount of work they have to do.

Re:No freedom anymore... (3, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | about 5 years ago | (#29256993)

The police have to work a lot harder to track down someone who actually stole your laptop

... but they usually don't.

Just helping the police (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29239839)

So, I would only be helping the police by doing the same if I notice any unlocked cars and take stuff from them? NICE!

Re:Just helping the police (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29375319)

Good point.

What, exactly, gives the police special privileges to do this when if anyone else did it they'd be clapped in irons?

I'm curious if the police are liable for trespass.

I'm seeing a trend... (1)

clint999 (1277046) | about 5 years ago | (#29249849)

That's the point. If someone is going to steal my $2 in quarters I'd prefer that they not cost me hundreds by breaking the window to get it.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | about 5 years ago | (#29258289)

Am I the only one that is completely confused?

Is police good or bad ? (0, Troll)

sophialxw (1567701) | about 5 years ago | (#29258603)

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How would they feel? (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 5 years ago | (#29267089)

I'm not sure cops would feel you were being benevolent, let alone acting legally, if average Joe Citizen tried opening every parked police car, let along lifting items from them, even if it were meant to encourage good behavior.

So basically... (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 5 years ago | (#29273677)

In the areas where this is taking place, if private citizens spot a police car that's unlocked, they can remove everything from inside there to prevent it from being stolen?

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