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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:30 PM   #1
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Unknowingly bought a stolen smartphone off craigslist

I purchased a Samsung Note 2 off craigslist about 2 weeks ago, popped in my Sim card, everything worked fine/looked good. I used it for 2 weeks no problem, then I get a phone call from a Constable from the VPD. I complied with the Constables every question and I went in to the department and filled out a statement on paper, and on voice recorder. The constable generally believes me but he confiscates the phone. I am out of $350 for doing the right thing.

Now my question is, how do I go as to receive the money I paid for it back? I contacted the original seller and he played dumb and said he never sold a phone. Through more textes, he now claims to have just switched to the new number and says I am talking to the wrong person. Even though, the way he types is the same as the previous messages from 2 weeks ago. I told the Constable this and he says he'll look into it, as I provided the text messages, timestamp of the transaction, location which was at a gas station. He told me they may have to look into getting the footage from the video surveillance.

I did a quick google search on stolen phones and many people state that the police do not care about this kind of theft. One even suggested I resell the phone for if I give it back, I am out of money. Is there anything I can do? Get a police report? Take it to small claims court? Thanks in advance
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
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sorry, you are SOL.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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what nabs said.

I hope they help you tho, in some cases they do.

but rarely.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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You guys may be right, after the phone is back with the original owner, the case may be closed. I just hope the person who sold me the phone, is found guilty. Oh well, my name is cleared.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Damn, that's tough to swallow.

I read a similar situation but with an IPAD on redflagdeals.

The buyer is out of luck. Again, buyer beware. The best thing you can do is go to the store and authenticate it.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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that is why you meet the seller at a store like wireless wave so that you can ask the staff to check if the phone is stolen.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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that is why you meet the seller at a store like wireless wave so that you can ask the staff to check if the phone is stolen.
Did. Called Rogers with the IMEI. Came back clean. The phone wasn't reported as stolen until a week or 2 after
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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Had the same situation,
Bought a S3 off craigslist brand new, 2 weeks later RCMP officers show up at my door. They take the phone, I'm out $500 GG
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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Had the same situation,
Bought a S3 off craigslist brand new, 2 weeks later RCMP officers show up at my door. They take the phone, I'm out $500 GG
Oh man.. Did you provide details on the craigslist seller?
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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You know what would be interesting.

If the person who sold you the stolen phone was related/knew the owner. Then the owner could report it to the cops with the installed APP to locate the phone and get back the phone and split the $$

Likely scenario.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #11
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Always try to get the original packaging and if they can atleast show you a receipt for the phone.

Whenever I sell my old phones or whenever I get a new phone I hold onto this stuff specifically for resale. It erases any doubt in the buyers mind and makes the transactions easier.

I mean I guess it is possible for me to go steal someone elses HTC One and sell it in my box, but the chances of that are less than that guy who is just fencing a phone with the case that is on it...
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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wow.. good to know.
I bought used phone and ipad off craigslist a few times already

that sucks .. if OP already check with rogers that the phone is clean ..
he has done all the steps correctly
would get the seller to sign sale document do any different?
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:46 PM   #13
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My friend bought a s3 which was stolen...
RCMP went to her house (wasn't home at time) and RCMP called her phone (left a message) and friend ignored it for 6weeks. Then finally called the cops back and they didn't get back to her .

So she still has the phone.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #14
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C'mon, seriously?? If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Don't buy cell phones cheap off Craigslist, and expect it to be legit.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:09 AM   #15
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^Not true, i sold 2 phones to random people and they were fine.

What's too bad is that we're getting to a point in society where nobody trusts anyone anymore.

Although I am sorry for your loss OP.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:55 AM   #16
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It's a risk of buying off craigslist. There's no easy way to get your money back. Even if they somehow catch the guy and link it to your case, you'll still have a sue him, provided that he has any money.

Cut your loss and move on.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:04 AM   #17
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Wait, so you bought the phone and it was clean. Then 2 weeks later it was stolen?

Then your seller is the owner.

/thread.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:10 AM   #18
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My friend bought a s3 which was stolen...
RCMP went to her house (wasn't home at time) and RCMP called her phone (left a message) and friend ignored it for 6weeks. Then finally called the cops back and they didn't get back to her .

So she still has the phone.
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Is she still using the stolen device? Everytime a call/text/email is sent out, the phone encodes the IMEI to the cell tower, that is how they track it down. In my case, my IMEI was reported and my number was tied to it.

I learned my lesson, I'm never buying from Craigslist again, I need to get a receipt to cover my ass. Just sucks how honest people get scammed while the fraudulent ppl get let off the hook.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #19
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Wait, so you bought the phone and it was clean. Then 2 weeks later it was stolen?

Then your seller is the owner.

/thread.
Not necessarily. The owner did not report it as he thought he misplaced it. I guess when he felt he lost it, he reported it lost/stolen to the police. When the VPD called me, they had all the evidence because my number was the only number tied to the IMEI.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:13 AM   #20
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Your SOL.

You should've sold the phone and tried to recoup your money.
Police aren't going to care that you lost $350, they got the phone, and are now going to find the "rightful" owner.

Even if they find the guy who sold the phone to you, you can say you bought it for $350, and the seller can say he GAVE you the phone. His word vs. your word. SOL.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:36 AM   #21
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Your SOL.

You should've sold the phone and tried to recoup your money.
Police aren't going to care that you lost $350, they got the phone, and are now going to find the "rightful" owner.

Even if they find the guy who sold the phone to you, you can say you bought it for $350, and the seller can say he GAVE you the phone. His word vs. your word. SOL.
The thing is, I was thinking about selling the phone prior, but the thought of incriminating myself for soliciting stolen products would be a misdemeanor/felony. I was the only one tied to the phone, they had proof of that. When I went in to put in my statement, they showed me the faxes from Rogers.

I'll take this as a learning experience, thanks for the response guys. /end
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #22
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all phones reported stolen to rogers bell etc, will be blacklisted. the cell phone companies are finally doing something to prevent stolen phones from being used/resold.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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C'mon, seriously?? If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Don't buy cell phones cheap off Craigslist, and expect it to be legit.
Not True. I once had to sell my phone super cheap because I was in a rush to leave the country to meet a nigerian prince who was long lost family to give me large $$$ share of his inheritance, But I had to wire him some money for him to seek refuge first.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #24
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Oh man.. Did you provide details on the craigslist seller?
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Yeah but the phone number they used to communicate was obviously a prepaid/untraceable phone. The shitty part was that I took a picture of the vehicle and its license plate but because they RCMP didn't follow up with this phone for almost 3 weeks I accidentally deleted the image

This phone that I had however was stolen out of a phone store robbery... Thats the only reason why they would pursue it like they did.

Unless you got shot/stabbed they won't take their time to find your phone.

Sorry to say but you are shit out of luck. Craigslist is hella sketchy nowadays when its comes to buying/selling electronics - A bunch of my friends have been robbed through craigslist transactions.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:59 PM   #25
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Your SOL.

You should've sold the phone and tried to recoup your money.

so he can screw the next buyer?

if you already know how shitty it is to be in this situation why would you involve another person into your own troubles? It's like a case of a sticky chewed gum to start a chain reaction...pass it on...get stuck with it = not my problem
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