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FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Hopster
Date: December 04, 2016 06:43PM
I just read an article stating that I could be arrested if I fail to surrender a diamond ring I found to the local police.
This falls under laws regarding "lost or abandoned property".
The same article states that in South Florida the police departments take in lost cash and other items that good Samaritans turn in.

17 years of detecting in Florida and nothing worthwhile other than a few less expensive bands etc.
I recently found a 3/4 carat ladies wedding ring with many smaller diamonds mounted in it.
I have not yet had the time/cash to get the diamond certified so that I can sell it.
But now I see this law posted.
BTW I DID look for online lost and found ads and this ring was not listed.
SO ... what am I supposed to do ?
The way I see it, it helps pay for years of detecting with little reward.
And to rub salt in it - the police use a 3rd party to appraise and auction the jewelry and they keep half.
SO - what are my rights here.
Please don't reply with opinions unless they are based on LAW.
BTW it was found on a public beach in the wet sand - so between high and low tide marks.
Thanks,
DC



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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: John(Tx)
Date: December 04, 2016 07:14PM
If you want answers based on law then you probably won't get any. You do what you feel is right, I would keep it unless it's a school ring. Why didn't these people rent a detector and go find it? If I had to give back every ring I found I would not be hunting....

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Grubstake
Date: December 04, 2016 08:46PM
Finders Keepers, losers weepers, abandon property. Grubstake

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Hopster
Date: December 05, 2016 04:28AM
I agree wholeheartedly that I should be able to keep what I worked for.
Of course I've returned rings before and have no regrets.
I'm still sitting on a class ring from Maine Maritime Academy, WWII era, found at a WWII battle location in the pacific.
When I contacted the academy via email back in 1995, they ignored the inquiry.
I would love this to find it's owner or next of kin.

My concern with high value finds is when I go for an appraisal to prep an item for sale, will the appraiser somehow feel obligated to report the find without my consent ?
I was long overdue for a "big" find and the next step is to convert it into cash to pay for my new CTX3030 among other things.
Y'all don't hunt just to have a pretty stone to admire, right ?



Excalibur early Sword model, Gary Storm built serial EX112, (needs new case)
Excalibur 1000/GreyGhosts
Excalibur II -1000/Grey Ghosts

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: mike k.
Date: December 05, 2016 08:26AM
The police keeping half the value , or any value sounds communist . Metal detectorists don't just walk down the beach and find items , they work , and use a tool to locate lost items . This is why I would keep all valuables , and keep my mouth shut , in Florida .

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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Champ Ferguson
Date: December 05, 2016 08:38AM
You don't need to tell an appraiser anything other than you own it and want an appraisal for insurance purposes. None of his business how you LAWFULLY came to be in possession of it.

I recommend making all reasonable efforts to return it to its prior owner, Failing that, it is yours to do with as you please. I see no reason that the goobermint and their cronys should profit from your efforts. (well, any more than they already do)

One point: there may be a laser serial number etched on the diamond somewhere. If the appraiser can see one, you possibly have a path to finding the owner.



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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: hawgdawg
Date: December 05, 2016 08:42AM
The police get half the value? I always thought if you turned something in , the kept it for 30-90 days and if it's not claimed , then the finder takes possession . Y'all got some greedy cops .

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: GeorgeinSC
Date: December 05, 2016 09:20AM
"My concern with high value finds is when I go for an appraisal to prep an item for sale, will the appraiser somehow feel obligated to report the find without my consent ?"


Why would you feel compelled to tell a jeweler that you found the ring?? Tell them that you have a ring that you acquired some time back and would like to have it appeased. You would not be lying.



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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Hopster
Date: December 05, 2016 05:34PM
OK here's a link to the article that @#$%& me off:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-10-03/news/fl-lost-and-found-20130914_1_coral-springs-police-items-palm-beach-county-sheriff

Here is a link to Florida Statute 705.102 :

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/705.102

705.102 Reporting lost or abandoned property.—
(1) Whenever any person finds any lost or abandoned property, such person shall report the description and location of the property to a law enforcement officer.
(2) The law enforcement officer taking the report shall ascertain whether the person reporting the property wishes to make a claim to it if the rightful owner cannot be identified or located. If the person does wish to make such claim, he or she shall deposit with the law enforcement agency a reasonable sum sufficient to cover the agency’s cost for transportation, storage, and publication of notice. This sum shall be reimbursed to the finder by the rightful owner should he or she identify and reclaim the property.
(3) It is unlawful for any person who finds any lost or abandoned property to appropriate the same to his or her own use or to refuse to deliver the same when required.
(4) Any person who unlawfully appropriates such lost or abandoned property to his or her own use or refuses to deliver such property when required commits theft as defined in s. 812.014, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.



So, basically I am guilty of a crime for not turning in the ring to police.....
AND - the most I can recover for finding it, if the original owner claims it, is the deposit I made to cover the police storage and transport expenses etc.
In fact, the law does not even allow me a finders fee.
BUT, if I wait 90 days and nobody claims it, it is mine, but as far as I understand, I am out the deposit I made for the "handling fees".

That's the law folks. I think it to be a very badly written law .
Very unfair to detectorists who rely on things lost.
Apparently the police profiting comes into play when the finder does not ask to keep the item found after the 90 days.
That's where they (police dept.) get to keep 50 percent of the auction price, auction house keeps the other half.



Excalibur early Sword model, Gary Storm built serial EX112, (needs new case)
Excalibur 1000/GreyGhosts
Excalibur II -1000/Grey Ghosts

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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Champ Ferguson
Date: December 05, 2016 09:13PM
.....



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2016 09:16PM by Champ Ferguson.

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Dancer
Date: December 06, 2016 04:56AM
Ya know, If after 17 years of being shut out. And after you found this honker of a ring, with no identification, your conscience drives you to turn it in. So what if you hadn't come across this "law" you happened to read? As for paying for certification. Once the jeweler where I sell my scrap tells me it's the real deal, well that's good enough for me. You do know that these treasures are lost, found and resold everyday. There's a good feeling about returning a lost item to someone, but if that's not possible, enjoy yourself.
Or, you could toss it back.

"Florida" ? HA! It's EVERY state, and we're all criminals
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: December 06, 2016 10:04AM
All 50 states have lost & found statutes. Born out of wandering cattle laws of the 1800s. So that .... obviously .... if you "find" a mountain bike in front of a store, you can't simply walk off with it. Or if a Brinks Armored car door swings open while driving down the road, then next lucky passerbys can't just say "finders keepers". The $ still belongs to Brinks. So there is a logical purpose in the law, that you/we are under an obligation to turn in found items to the police.

The usual value cutoff , in each state, varies from $100 to $250 , etc.... And the law doesn't say how that's valued . Eg.: intrinsic melt value, vs value when new. Legally I'm assuming "value when new". Otherwise, what's to stop you from finding the someone's laptop or apple phone on a park bench, and then claiming it only had $1 of "intrinisic value" (some silicon, copper, plastic, etc...) hence "worthlesss" and didn't have to be reported . When I asked a lawyer one time how value is determined (to know whether a ring we find qualifies as legally obligated to turn in), the lawyer said "turn it in and let the police decide how to value".

And in CA (so I'm assuming other states similar) they keep it for an allotted # of days . If no one claims it, you get it back, minus misc. storage and processing fees. And if that police station elected to run a "lost" ad in the paper (for items of $500 or more value), then guess who pays for the cost of running that ad in the paper? YOU DO (if you want to come back and claim the item).

And I'd be suspicious that if you or I turn in a Rolex, then ... what's to stop some desk clerk at the police station from telling you "It got claimed", when in fact they pocketed it ? Afterall, they're under no obligation to tell you who claimed it. Or they can call their uncle Bob and say "Hey Bob, if you want a nice rolex, come to the station and describe such & such, lost & such & such". Yes I know that sounds dastardly, .... but THINK ABOUT IT : In their mind's eyes, what have you lost ? NOTHING. It was never yours to begin with . You only found it. And you turned it in knowing full well it might be claimed.

And the law makes no distinction on when YOU think an item was lost, or if YOU think an item is no longer being sought by the owner. So you can't make a legal distinction for an item that you feel has been lost a long time (an item deep in the turf for instance). But law also makes no distinction or allowance for our own repatriation attempts. Ie.: running a found ad on CL, or pinning a flyer to a telephone pole does NOT satisfy the law. The law requires you to turn in the item to police, and let THEIR channels of repatriation go to work.

So all of us md'rs who've ever found any item over our state's threshold dollar amount, and failed to trot down to the police station, are all law-breakers. Those persons here in this thread who are saying "finders keepers" or "keep your mouth shut", are failing to keep the md'ing code of ethics. Tsk tsk.

I know we all think this is a big joke, but .... if anyone cares for me to recount my "run-in" with the police on this very subject, I'll tell the story :) I delved into a legal research project on this very subject, after a scary encounter with one city's police dept. on this.

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Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Champ Ferguson
Date: December 06, 2016 11:10AM
If it was me and I was still uncomfortable with it all, I'd do as Dancer suggested. After doing what I consider due diligence, I'd toss it back before turning it in to some goobermint agent.

Tom, I'd like to hear your run-in story or a link to it elsewhere. PM if it might be a prob posting it.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2016 11:11AM by Champ Ferguson.

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: December 07, 2016 01:22PM
Quote
Champ Ferguson
....

Tom, I'd like to hear your run-in story or a link to it elsewhere. PM if it might be a prob posting it.

Well ..... ok ... since you twisted my arm .... :)

Re: FLORIDA LAW regarding found jewelry
Posted by: Sanderling
Date: December 07, 2016 01:37PM
You learn something everyday. I have been detecting Florida beaches for 20 years and had no idea that this law was on the books. Ignorance is bliss for sure. I have turned identifiable rings into Beach Patrol in the past. They have to have some sort of inscription on them, not just a plain gold band. Anyway after they checked the lost and found report log they called me and told me that they did not appear on the log and the rings were mine to keep. Good enough for me.

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