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EB Demands Payment From Victim of Theft 518

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-very-shady dept.
blincoln writes "ABC Action News is reporting that a Florida Electronics Boutique bought stolen games and gaming hardware, and made a profit on selling them back to their rightful owner, refusing to return the merchandise unless she paid them. From the article: 'EB Games still insists it will not refund Michelle's money. If she wants her money back, the company said, she can go through the legal system and get restitution from the thief.' In addition, EB appears to be violating the law by re-selling used merchandise without holding it for the required number of days. I was under the impression that purchasers of stolen merchandise could expect it to be seized by the police (who would return it to the owner) and not recover any of the money they spent buying it unless they took action against the thief. Is that not the case in Florida?"
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EB Demands Payment From Victim of Theft

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  • issue? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cft (715198) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @01:58PM (#8491498) Journal
    how is this even an issue? the law clearly states that they must hold the goods for a certain amount of time (10 days
    if I'm not mistaken before they're given away. The article says she went to the store after two days and they had already
    sold her playstation. They clearly violated law and should be reported to the authorities, not the manager as she did.
    • Re:issue? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bloodrose (87474) * <bryan@nOSpAM.darketernity.com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:03PM (#8491545) Homepage Journal
      Sometimes calling the police isn't feasible. On many things, such as small claims like this, the police will require some level of proof before they move on it. In some cases, gathering a minor amount of proof and taking EB to small claims court would be a better route. At least, it seems that way to me.
      • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:05PM (#8491557)
        But in this case, the police should already have enough proof. There's a confession from the thief, and a matching transaction that fits the description on EB's records too.
        • Re:issue? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by bloodrose (87474) * <bryan@nOSpAM.darketernity.com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:10PM (#8491590) Homepage Journal
          True enough, but at that point, it isnt the police's job to strong arm EB into providing restitution. That burden lies in the arms of the courts.
          • Re:issue? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:14PM (#8491627)
            Actually, a court is only supposed to resolve disuptes into who owns an item. Once a court certifies that this woman owns what she says she owns, it then falls back onto the police to do the strongarming.
            • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Mistlefoot (636417) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8491753)
              I wonder what would have happened if she had just simply "taken" them back.

              It would be hard to charge her with stealing stuff that she already owned.

              I'm sure someone here must know some law on this.
              • Re:issue? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by cgenman (325138) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @10:31PM (#8494475) Homepage
                As a wiser man once pointed out, stealing something does not change ownership. Buying something that was stolen does not make you the owner, as the person you bought the item from has no ownership rights to transfer.

                If she could match the serial number on the unit, the woman should rightfully walk out of the store with her playstation. It is her possession every bit as much as if she had bought one from the cashier, and the store being defauded doesn't change that. The only thing that could stop her is if the store needed that as a form of evidence against the perpetrator. However, the store has already expressed a lack of interest in pursuing that avenue.

                While Electronics Boutique is notorious for poor magement (pushing pre-orders at the expense of sales, for example), trafficing in stolen merchandise steps over quite a few lines. Somebody's head should roll for this.

            • Pedant Time (Score:4, Insightful)

              by StarKruzr (74642) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:43PM (#8492130) Journal
              In point of fact, it's not the police, exactly, who enforce the court's decision, but the county/city/whatever jurisdiction the court has's Sheriff's Dept.
          • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:35PM (#8491757)
            Not true, the police are supposed to seize stolen goods as evidence, and then the goods get returned to the original owner, and its up to EB to attempt to get their money back from the thief if its possible.

            More to the point.. what the fuck were they (EB) thinking.. is the bad publicity over this whole incident worth the negligable amount of money to this woman.... I think not, this will cost them alot more in the long run, and I hope the authorities come down hard on EB for violating the laws and this persons rights
            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:27PM (#8492107)
              I presume that everyone reading this on Slashdot will pass it on to everyone they know who may have ever done business with EB. I know I did. With a little luck, this could end up costing them huge in lost business. As far as I'm concerned, there's one thing EB could do to redeem themselves. The chain's corporate HQ could sue the franchise holder for damaging the corporate name through his illegal actions. Reimbursing this lady is necessary, but it is no longer enough by itself.
              • Well, I will continue to shop there just because I can get cheap used games; a lot more then other places. HQ should do something; probably something along the lines of giving her a new unit plus some extras; always pay back and then some and save face. But EB as a whole is still good; just one store that got too lazy in the way they handled things.
              • by sallen (143567) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#8492418)
                The chain's corporate HQ could sue the franchise holder for damaging the corporate name through his illegal actions. Reimbursing this lady is necessary, but it is no longer enough by itself.
                I would agree reimbursement is not enough. But I think Corporate should go a step further. Instead of suing, they should very publically revoke the franshise agreement. There are generally some pretty strong conditions on tarnishing the brand. If it was 'common knowledge' as the story indicates that this store didn't do checks (making it a common, recurring practice), etc, and then in this case knowingly sold stolen property (back to the original owner), I don't think they'd have any problem terminating their agreement.
            • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by deinol (210478) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @06:58PM (#8493258) Homepage
              Stores do this all the time. I had a similar circumstance where I had loaned a friend a large quantity of books. Then I was gone for a few months during the summer. When I got back, I found out that they had sold the books to a used book store in order to pay the rent. They had thought I had moved away for good or something. The book store in question refused to return the books, claiming I had no proof they were mine, despite my name being clearly written in, then marked over (but still legible) in each of the books. 75% had already been sold.

              The police couldn't do anything until I pressed charges against the person who stole them. Then they came in and seized the remaining books. 6 months later, they were returned to me.

              Suffice it to say, I'm not really friends with that person anymore. But, they did admit to it, and were willing to give the store the money back to get the books back. But the store wouldn't even do that. They wanted to sell them for full price. The remaining books would have cost more than the entire lot was purchased at by the store. In the end, I was more upset with the store than the person. I still won't return to that book store.
          • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:44PM (#8491811) Journal
            Do what I just did, write an e-mail to EB Games and inform them that you find their business practices unsavory and won't give them any future business. I think in this case the consumer may be able to make more of an impact on this situation than the local law enforcement.
      • Duh, what? (Score:3, Informative)

        by autopr0n (534291)
        Did you read the article? The police caught the theif, arrested him, and got a confession saying he sold the stuff at EB. EB even belives this, and dosn't care.
      • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:36PM (#8491768)
        Sometimes calling the police isn't feasible

        Lately, it seems like nothing's feasible. I had a truck broken into last year and $2K of tools and test equipment taken out of it. Response from the police? Leave a message on the answering machine and never, ever expect any followup. "It's an insurance matter."

        Some of the equipment was licensed amateur radio gear that was very distinguishable. Checked with pawn shops. They told me to get lost: "We don't have to talk to you or tell you if we have your equipment or not. Only the police can check."

        Obviously not if the police don't investigate it and relegate the matter to an answering machine (a friend at the police department said they only use those cases for statistical purposes - e.g. demonstrating they need more funding because of greater crime, though who knows what they'd do with more funds. Obviously not chase ordinary criminals that affect most of us).

        Insurance company was no help either? Played "let's demand proof for everything" - and when proof was provided, claimed to lose forms, require reapplication, and then "mistakenly" closed my case twice. Never got paid a cent, though they indicated I had a claim. Recourse? File complaint with state insurance regulators. (Hint: their address is /dev/null).

        Now we're dealing with a significant theft and destruction to a federally licensed communication site at work (in a matter that is going on across the country), and the local FBI office won't response. They're pretty busy hanging on Internet chat rooms nabbing perverts - maybe playing on the PC is more fun than doing field work. Local law enforcement says it's a national matter and has no resources to investigate.

        Conclusion? Seems like a good time to be a crook or an insurance company. Us poor schmucks are outgunned and unrepresented. How's that "no taxation without representation" line go again?
        • Re:issue? (Score:5, Funny)

          by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@amiran . u s> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:54PM (#8491871) Homepage Journal
          I feel your pain.

          To be honest, I feel like the 'us poor scmucks' need to start investing in our own security ;-)

          Less insurance payments, more car alarms+electrostatic armor plating *evil grin*

          Police won't catch the crooks? My ShockMaster 2000 will fry them dead :)
        • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AntiTuX (202333) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:27PM (#8492104) Homepage
          I had the same thing happen, myself.

          Mine was cable television equipment though. 5 scientific america boxes, to be exact.

          Anyhow, they caught the dumbass, who tried to plug in the stolen boxes to see if they worked. Cox can tell you exactly where those boxes are on the network down to the tap port, then all you need is to look at the tag and see which house the line goes to.

          Anyhow, in the end, the cops didn't do shit to help me get my stuff back. Cox did though.

        • Re:issue? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TCaptain (115352)
          I hear you.

          I just got broken into THIS week. Chickensh*t *sshole thieves took computer equipment and some of my SO's sentimental stuff. Could have been worse (about 5Gs worth), they got interrupted.

          The police did NOTHING. Even though we had items dropped that only the punks could have touched, they wouldn't look at them or print them.

          Their response..."we don't investigate stuff like this...if we did that, we'd never go home at night!"

          Oh boohoo! So I said "basically you're saying its ok they get away
        • Re:issue? (Score:3, Insightful)

          Sounds like you should vote to raise taxes and hire some more police.

          We have the same problem with the police not investigating all property crimes, but it isn't quite that bad yet.

          • Re:issue? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@infamo[ ]net ['us.' in gap]> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:10PM (#8492571) Homepage
            Sounds like you should vote to raise taxes and hire some more police.

            Hmm. There's an old cliche that "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged." (And, "A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested.")

            But when the one of the "let's cut taxes!" brand of conservative suddenly finds not enough cops to track down the guy who burgled his house (or worse yet, not enough firefighters to come extinguish his house-b-que, or EMTs to come jumpstart his dad's failing heart)...yeah, you just might see a tax (and service) cutter switch to a tax-and-spend liberal.

            (Of course, they might just become one of the new "borrow and spend" conservatives that have become popular lately; "don't tax us, our kids will pay for it." Grand.)

            • Re:issue? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas&dsminc-corp,com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @11:27PM (#8494792) Homepage
              OK to as much as this is flame bait. Have you ever considered prioitizing cops into real crime aka no more eating doughnuts running a speed trap. That would mean no busiting drug dealers and pimps and concentrating on the harder to catch but more damaging thieves and killers. It's all debatable becuase everybody has different priorities but if your forced to selectivly enforce the law wich I think most cops are made to do on a regular basis then the population should have to decide. Scary concept to line item the budget and it it dosent get vodet in they dont go out of there way to enforce it. Course that wouldbe the people deciding what they need rather then our elected bad or worse government.
          • Re:issue? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by rhombic (140326) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @06:59PM (#8493261)
            I live in the People's Republic of California, and I pay considerably more than my parents do in local taxes (property taxes higher, more than 1c higher sales tax, higher state income tax).

            In my parent's town (small town Kansas), stuff like this gets hunted down. In San Diego, you've pretty much got to get shot to get the local cops out of their offices (unless, of course, you're speeding or something). We just pretty much accept that the local cops are worthless, and get on with our lives. Higher taxes aren't the answer-- revising the various levels of civil service so that the competant got raises, and the incompetent got fired, would be. Ah well. Time to privatize the police as well, I guess...

            --
        • Re:issue? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Mikesch (31341) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @07:02PM (#8493279) Homepage
          Seriously.

          Someone at the company where I work got his car broken into. This was caught on the security camera. The guy pulls up in a red Toyota pickup, throws a rock through the window and steals everything inside. The license plate on the pickup truck was clearly visible on the security tape. After the tape was turned over to the police they went to the truck owner to investigate. His response: "I loaned it to my daughter's boyfriend." The police didn't even bother to follow up on what should have been an open and shut case. Never investigated the boyfriend, nothing.

          Fine, the police don't have a lot of resources, they're underpaid, they have a tough job, they're understaffed, they work long hours. At the same time, they should be counted on to solve the easy crimes even with limited funding and they just won't do it.

          From now on, their complaints are falling on deaf ears for me. They can't be counted on to do their jobs even when a case is handed to them. If they won't even make an effort to protect the citizens they're supposed to, why should I make an effort to care whether or not they have decent benefits.

          Meanwhile, my dad got a ticket for wearing his seatbelt improperly from the local police(wearing it under his arm instead of over). I feel so much safer now that nasty lawbreakers like my dad have to pay fines for things that don't hurt anyone but himself.
      • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @04:47PM (#8492451) Homepage
        In this case the police already have a confession from the thief - how much more proof do they need?

        Where I (BC, Canada) live if the police have arrested the thief and have a confession they will go get the stolen goods and return them to the owner, if the owner is known. If they don't know the owner they still take the goods as possesion of stolen property is against the law - and selling goods known to be stolen is also illegal. The store would be completely out for the money paid for the stolen goods unless they sue the thief.

        A local guy paid over $30,000 for a newish car from a car dealership, the police discovered the car was stolen and took the car, returning it to the owner. The dealership had done all the correct paperwork before selling so the guy was out $30,000. The true owner of the car automatically got his car back with the police's help.

        I find it hard to believe that the Florida police in this case didn't just march down to EB, recover the stolen goods (for evidence at least!) then return the goods to the legal owner.

        If this had happened where I live EB would have had no choice but to return the games.

    • Re:issue? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by metlin (258108) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:11PM (#8491603) Journal
      Looks like you have not read the article in full, its 15 days actually :-)

      From the article -

      Under state law, all merchants who deal in secondhand goods are required to hold those goods for 15 calendar days before selling them. The law is designed specifically to prevent the sale of stolen goods, and prevent situations like this.

      Well, you cannot blame her for not reporting it to the authorities - usually you end up going to the authorities only as a last resort. You try and solve problems as best as you can before that with the company and if that does not work out, you see restitution.

      But now that its out in the open, it may turn quite interesting.
    • Re:issue? (Score:5, Funny)

      by dubiousmike (558126) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:30PM (#8491724) Homepage Journal
      "I was under the impression that purchasers of stolen merchandise could expect it to be seized by the police (who would return it to the owner) and not recover any of the money they spent buying it unless they took action against the thief. Is that not the case in Florida?"

      They voted on it and are in the middle of their third recount...
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:33PM (#8491742)
      From the article:

      "He said that he went in there and took it. He was hard up for money for his rent," Wayne Welsh said. "He took them to EB Games in Gulfview Square Mall and sold them...he said that's where they don't do a check and he can sell them without worrying about the police finding out he stole them."

      This isn't a random occurrence. He already knew where to go to sell them without any checks.

      That indicates that this store has a history of such deals. It seems that the cops should be doing a lot of digging into that store's previous dealings.

      • ELBO, with its stores in the USA, Europe, Canada, etc, doesn't care where games come from, only that they come in at one price and go out at a higher price. It's how they make the lion's share of their money.

        Gamestop's the same way. Check it out sometime, they're all like it.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 07, 2004 @01:59PM (#8491507)
    It seems like EB's operations in Florida are illegal because under state law they have to hold any used good they buy for 15 days specifically to allow for any such claim of theft to be made. EB clearly sold some of the goods before that time, so they're in trouble.

    So, now, the only question is why it's a local TV station pointing this out instead of the local police? EB's used goods operation isn't complying with state law. That's the bigger problem...
    • by screwballicus (313964) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:13PM (#8491619)
      And so they maintain that their profiting from the illegal sale of stolen goods should be upheld.

      I assume there is some applicable hefty fine for their infringing on state law. Their not offering the customer the small amount of money she is owed as a result of their infraction is just mind-boggling.

      I have to think this is not an "evil corporation" issue. Evil corporations are perfectly happy to pay small amounts of money to uphold an image of benevolence. I think this is more likely an "incredibly stupid store manager" issue.
    • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot AT monkelectric DOT com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:21PM (#8491674)
      I think the reason for the hard line from EB is that they know theft is a HUGE part of their business. Think about what easy money this is, no messy stock, shipping, delays, restocking, just profit and NO LIABILITY.

      We don't have any EB stores where I live, but we have KB's and Game Stop, both of which sell used games, and I have to tell you their prices are horrible. Both places price games 5$ under retail. I can't imagine not paying the extra 5$ to get a new copy.

      • EB used products business deserves serious scrutiny. In my area all EB stores stock comprehensive selection of bootleg DVDs. Moreover, employees are very much aware of the fact that DVDs they sell are bootlegs.
  • Call the police! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @01:59PM (#8491508)
    The article mentions her writing letters and going to the store, but never mentions police. If you believe a merchant has stolen goods, call the cops!
  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:00PM (#8491514) Homepage
    Wouldn't this make EB themselves liable to prosecution for knowingly dealing in stolen goods? They don't seem to be denying that the goods are stolen from the bit about seeking restitution from the thief, which is pretty much an admission of guilt if that is the case. Anyone know for sure?
    • Proceeds of a crime is a crime itself in the US and Canada.
      • And what makes me chuckle is that if you gain proceeds through a crime and you do not declare them to the IRS or Inland Revenue (in the UK), not only can you be charged with the crime itself, butyou can be charged with tax evasion. Thats right, for a hooker it is illegal for her or her pimp to live off immoral earnings, but its perfectly ok for the IRS to tax you on those immoral earnings.
    • Re:Relevant laws (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sam1am (753369)
      The relevant laws seem to be Chapter 538 [flsenate.gov] of the Florida Statutes.. (they're actually sort of an interesting read.

      (2)When the lawful owner recovers stolen property from a secondhand dealer and the person who sold or pledged the stolen property to the secondhand dealer is convicted of theft, a violation of this section, or dealing in stolen property, the court shall order the defendant to make restitution to the secondhand dealer pursuant to s. 775.089.

      - Being that the guy who stole the stuff confessed to

  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:01PM (#8491522) Homepage Journal
    time to go hock my neighbor's jewelry at EB!
  • The hell..? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lewis Daggart (539805) <jonboze@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:03PM (#8491540) Journal
    So they buy stolen goods without checking. They dont hold it forthe required 15 days. They then refuse to reimburse the person for the goods they illegally sold. They refuse to return the goods (without pay) that they unknowingly receaved through illegal channels. I was under the impression that in a case like this, EB should be returning the goods and seeking restitution from the thief, while the person who's property was stolen gets their goods back from EB. Of course, I'm no lawyer, but that's only common sense.
    • Re:The hell..? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BCW2 (168187) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:10PM (#8491591) Journal
      The sad fact is that common sense and the law have not recognized each other in 50 years. If common sense is not dead in this country, it is barely sustained by life support. This is related to the legal system and justice wich have very little in common anymore. I don't think they are on speaking terms.

      EB is wrong in this case twice and will suffer a customer backlash, if it gets the publicity it deserves. The only thing that gets a corporations attention anymore is a big hit in the wallet.
      • Re:The hell..? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pla (258480) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:57PM (#8491894) Journal
        EB is wrong in this case twice and will suffer a customer backlash, if it gets the publicity it deserves. The only thing that gets a corporations attention anymore is a big hit in the wallet.

        This unfortunately has the potential to help EB's PR, though - It provides free advertising about a fact they cannot legally announce - That they will accept and resell stolen property, and do their damnedest to block any attempts to prove the theft or to restore the stolen property to its rightful owner.

        Now, most legit purchasers may find this a tad unsavory, but will just assume it doesn't apply if they only buy new merchandise. Quite a few people, however, will consider this a godsend to getting shady "used" merchandise.


        Of course, personally, I don't understand why people even still shop at places like EB. If you know exactly what you want, search for it online. You can usually get it for around half-price compared to local stores, and that before you consider not having to pay sales tax. My most recent example - I bought a few seasons of a popular TV series (won't say what, because I got it as a gift for someone, who reads Slashdot) on DVD. Local retail chains had them for a total of just over $200. Amazon had them for $170. Looking around online, and using two different stores (one had a horrible price on the first season, apparently they used that one as the money maker for the discount on the rest), I managed to get them all for under $120 including shipping.
    • Re:The hell..? (Score:3, Informative)

      by thefinite (563510)
      That *is also* how the law works. IAALS (I am a law student), and one of the most fundamental principles of property law in the US is that in almost every case, your rights to property are only as good as the rights of the person you got the property from. The exclusions to this rule are very narrow, and EB doesn't even come close. If you buy stolen goods, your rights to the goods are only as good as the theif's, even if you buy the goods not knowing they were stolen.

      Even if EB had waited the necessary ti
  • by Raleel (30913) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:03PM (#8491542)
    as stated in the article, they didn't hold them for 15 days, specifically designed for preventing this sort of thing.

    But isn't there a law on the books about buying stolen goods? I always thought that that was a crime as well.

    EB is obviously not looking at the big picture here. They want to recoup the cost of the stuff that they bought. However, a good response here (like giving her her stuff and sucking the loss), is going to win a good customer (this store did the right thing, that's why I purchase from them).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:04PM (#8491552)
    EB has only be stealing from customers figuratively with selling games they pay $20 (in credit, mind you) for back to $47.99. $2 off used instead of new for a $50. Wow, how thoughtful.

    Of course, that's provided that you buy new and your "new" game isn't simply a re-shrinked used game being sold as new.

    Next up on the list of EB crimes against consumers will be punching you in the face after each purchase, followed by stealing back what you just bought.
  • by dartmouth05 (540493) * on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:07PM (#8491568)
    EB should be criminally charged for dealing in stolen goods. By violating that 15 day law and by refusing to turn over the stolen goods, EB is no longer acting as a retail store--they are acting as a fence.

    Regardless of whether or not EB knew the goods were stolen when they purchased them from the thief, they did not not take reasonable precautions to ensure that they weren't stolen, such as follow the 15 day law.

    EB's actions were simply reprehensible, and I, for one, will no longer deal with them.

  • pawn shops (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pneuma_66 (1830) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:07PM (#8491572)
    I am pretty sure, that all pawn shops can only buy items, from someone with an id, and they then, must log that. Isn't ebgames essentially a pawn shop in that respect, since they buy items from the general public?
    • Re:pawn shops (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lewis Daggart (539805) <jonboze@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:09PM (#8491589) Journal
      All the EB's I've been to log the ID of the person, just in case something like this happens. It's possible that this store did not (which would be why the thief thought they would be a safe place)... but that in itself is illegal from what I understand. Sadly, it doesnt matter if they DID log the ID. We already know who the thief was.. EB sinply doesn't care.
      • Re:pawn shops (Score:3, Informative)

        by bloodrose (87474) *
        I've seen quite the opposite here. Most used stores that I have sold games and such to, you walk in, hand them a game, and either take your store credit or cash without ever taking your id out of your wallet. No of course there are the exceptions: Game Stop did require me to show my id to show that I was over the age of 18, but as far as I remember they never logged a piece of information from it.
  • by almaon (252555) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:08PM (#8491579)
    I work a local Apple retailer, we deal with new and used equipment.

    We've had a few break-ins in the past, the owner of our store tried contacting pawn shops in town to ask them to keep an eye out for iBooks/PowerBooks that might show up soon cause of the break-in. What is truely pathetic is that the pawn brokers just hung up as soon as they heard anything about stolen goods. They didn't want to be involved in the slightest. That really made me mad that people out there are allowed to run such a shady business. But that's America for ya, thanks Martha Stewart...

    As I mentioned earlier, we deal in used equipment as well. We're able to track S/N through Apple's service site, so we often catch a lot of stolen equipment. If the names don't match up for example, obvious red flag. Other times it just seems like some scam is taking place, especially when the kids that steal these things don't know how to turn em on, what the product name is, don't know the password or username, etc. So we play along with them, claim we just need to take it in back for a few minutes to 'test it out', run the serial number, call the cops and see if it's been reported, if so we have the police come pick them up and return the product to the customer (another reason not to buy mail-order, sometimes the local guys are looking out for you more ways than one).

    But even phoning the police on these matters is rediculous, in our city, you have to talk to about 10 different people, none one at the station seems to care. Which is frustrating, they have an attitude that it's not worth getting off their butts to check for a serial number. And yet, every one we've phoned in was reported and was finally returned.

    I wish local police would have a website to allow you to look up serial numbers of reported stolen goods, it'd make reselling and buying for the customer a lot safer and ethical. Although I'm sure it's more a legal problem to pull that task off, but still... I can dream of a perfect world still?

    I hope they sue EB for this, it's truely bad business.

    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:19PM (#8491657)
      Pawn shop owners don't want to hear about possible stolen goods because that can only get them in trouble, they'd rather deal with a stolen good without knowing that it is stolen than do the right thing of turning it in.

      There's no punishment for them if they don't realize that its stolen property... so they really want to follow a don't ask, don't tell policy.
    • by bangular (736791) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:23PM (#8491684)
      In America, big business always wins in the court. As much as it sucks, even if the consumer is 100% right, it's rare a consumer can afford to even take a case to court, let alone pay for a lawyer good enough to win. Sure, we hear about a few cases, but there are thousands we don't hear about.

      More effective is a boycott. If EB is going to treat their customers like shit, then we can treat EB like shit. If coperate hq knows about it and the police have been involved and can verify it's her goods, then a boycott is in place. If it were just the one store acting on it's own idiocy that would be bad enough, but HQ made the final decision not to pay her back. That is definatly grounds for a nationwide EB boycott.
      • by wfberg (24378) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:32PM (#8491734)
        Isn't this what small claims court is for? Seems open and shut enough to me. Not much sense for a business to pursue it further than that, given that a few hunderd bucks in lawyers' fees are easily spent.

        Of course, after getting your money back in small claims court, set the cops loose on em for fencing.
  • by SyKOStarchild (576577) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:08PM (#8491580)
    Though, however I have been in an EB in the state that I live in, where I've seen a guy walk in with a copy of a game I was after - I turned and asked the EB guys if I could pick it up right then and there, and I walked out with the copy of the game. EB isn't a pawn shop, I don't believe it is EB's policy to hold games for a certain amount of days before they can resell them.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't believe it is EB's policy to hold games for a certain amount of days before they can resell them.

      I see, they've chosen to opt out of that law. Do they have a policy on whether they're allowed to keep slaves too?
  • Me too! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:11PM (#8491606)
    My mountain bike was stolen out of my garage, and it didn't turn up after we filed a police report... so I spent $500 on a new bike. Then, it turned out that "Pawn X Change" had my original bike for sale. They are required to report all serial numbers to Seattle Police Dept, but when they reported the number on my bike, the "accidentally" misread it to the police.

    A police investigator doing a random pawn shop round recognized the bike based on the description on the police report. We went to the Pawn X Change and got it back, and told then how disgusted we were that they would intentinally transpose the serial number. About 6 months later, my friends and I made good use of a "5-dozen value pak" of eggs.... Oh, the feeling of satisfaction was superb!
    • Re:Me too! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Elentar (168685)
      I obviously don't know your specific pawnshop, but those that I have seen usually are run by people who can't or don't want to fit into a more 'normal' job, such as ex-convicts, handicapped people, people with learning disabilities, or just people who dislike being wave slaves.

      Imagine if the owner of your shop is dyslexic. Reading serial numbers all day long is hard enough for anyone, but if you can't even be sure that you're reading them right... on top of that, some guy comes in and yells at you because
    • About 6 months later, my friends and I made good use of a "5-dozen value pak" of eggs...
      I hope they were eggs that you bought fresh right after the incident and made good use of after they've been sitting in a warm and humid place for 6 months!

  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:15PM (#8491635) Journal
    The theif admitted that he went to EB because they don't do any check on the goods and don't ask questions, In my estimation this amounts to a fencing operation posing as a reputable business. I hope the local law enforcement stings them.
  • Where else? (Score:3, Funny)

    by boola-boola (586978) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:15PM (#8491637)
    It's Florida... Remember the 2000 election? "Home of the chads!" What more can I say? ...only in Florida ;)

    I for one will be boycotting EB Games until she gets her money back. Their games are overpriced anyways, and usually a lot cheaper at Best Buy, where they don't make a profit on consumer media (they are a staple product used to lure the customers in to buy things like computers and washing machines)

  • If she's reading.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bruha (412869) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:16PM (#8491639) Homepage Journal
    If the corporate HQ refused to give your money. Sue the shirts off their backs.. maybe then they'll learn to respect the law, and the victims of theft.
  • by Dragoon412 (648209) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:23PM (#8491685)
    This past holiday season, I was out of work, so I picked up a few hours at the local Gamestop (same company as EBgames), and after dealing with their store policies, I'm honestly suprised this doesn't happen more often.

    The entire company is poorly run. They're still using an ancient, convoluted, DOS-based PoS system that appears to pre-date the existance of the company. District and regional managers play slash and burn with a store's allotment of employee hours, and then throw a fit and fire the store managers when secret shoppers complain that the one employee running the store by herself for 8 hours didn't manage to get through the daily 20-some box delivery from UPS. Orders for specific products are placed at a corporate level, not a store level, meaning that it's extremely common for stores to get in a glut of products they already have an excess of, or products they have no floor space for that won't sell anyways (like all their crappy collectibles, figurines, and trading cards). The store I worked at literally had Playstations and Xboxes and Gamecubes stacked up 6 to 8 feet in the employee bathroom for lack of anywhere else to put merchandise.

    There's little to no emphasis placed on knowledge of games or gaming, and communication regarding the availability of new products to the store's emplyees is non-existant. Customer's are viewed as if they're some sort of problem, and treated with agreat deal of disrespect. They're routinely lied to and mislead, either out of contempt or ignorance. I've seen employees tell mom's shopping for their kids that Gameboy Advance games work in the old (circa 1990) model Gameboy, and employees routinely tag a Game Informer subscription on to a customer's order after the customer said he didn't want the subscription. I've personally been chewed out by a manager for talking a guy out of buying Halo (for the Xbox) for his kid's PS2. And of course, all this behavior is reinforced because the managers do it, too.

    Gamestop/EB is a terrible chain. Seeing how they're run, I'm amazed they manage to stay in business. And seeing that they've ripped off a customer... well, that's a daily occurance.
    • by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:39PM (#8491787)
      Gamestop (same company as EBgames)

      Gamestop and EBGames are not the same company. EBGames is what Electronics Boutique morphed itself into and Gamestop is the former Funcoland/Software Etc/Babbages. They are, in fact, the last two competing national chains dealing in "preowned" after Gamestop absorbed all those others.

    • by superultra (670002) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @04:29PM (#8492355) Homepage
      First, Dragoon412 is describing every retail store. During peak periods, for example, "this past holiday season", there's not a retail store anywhere that's backroom is not stocked "6 to 8 feet in the employee bathroom for lack of anywhere else to put merchandise." That's because it was Christmas. 20-box deliveries are normal, but only during Christmas.

      Moreover, I can't really think of any retail chain that specifically allows its individual stores to order individual products. Specific ordering on a store level for any chain that buys in bulk is an inventory management nightmare and would come at nothing less than a huge cost, and therefore price, increase.

      Why the low emphasis on gaming knowledge? As a former EB assistant manager, I'll tell you. Typically, people who "know about games" don't work. They sit on their asses during paid hours and talk about games with other people you've hired that "know about games." Nine times out of ten, you hire a guy who is "knowledgeable" and you've hired a poor worker. They don't sell. They don't work. They talk about games. They're elist and will, quite undiplomatically, tell customers that the game that customer has brought to the counter "sucks." Give me a good salesperson over a knowledgable gamer any day. That's not to suggest that a good salesperson will not learn about the product she sells. She will. But the ones who write on their application "I know a lot about video games because I've been playing them 5 hours a day since I was five" are not the people you want working in your store, because, simply, they won't work.

      In reference both to Dragoon412's comment and to the original article, there is little consistency of quality between any retail chain. I think the EB I worked at was run extremely tightly, with an emphasis on professionalism, politeness, and gaming knowledge. I've been to other EBs where that is definitly not the case, which is just like any other retail chain. They're highly dependent on the personality and drive of the manager. Surprise.

      Secondly, as already stated, EB is not the same store as Gamestop. While Babbages/Gamestop - which are all owned by Barnes and Noble - might use DOS still, EB does not use a DOS-based POS. While they are now in the minority, when I worked at EB in the mall I noticed that many other retail stores are still on rudimentory POS. What does that have to do with selling inside the safety period mentioned in the article, or even running a good store? Not a damn thing. A good manager and employees can run a tight, strong, customer-centric store with a pen and a pad (as once nightmaringly demonstrated at my store on a Black Friday).

      Yes, you'll find game stores that are run horribly, as the article so acutely demonstrates. You might have to look hard, but what you will eventually also find, though, are hard working people in EB (and presumably Gamestop) who care about their work and their customers. I know I sound like I'm pitching the company line here. Nevertheless, I have as many anti-corporate Steven Morgan jokes as the next guy. Dragoon421's "EB" store and the one in the article are individual stores not indicative of the entire company.
    • by Grave (8234) <awalbert88@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:05PM (#8492533)
      I'm sorry, but you're either lying about working for Gamestop or you are just really clueless. As a current employee of Gamestop myself, I can tell you that it should be common knowledge that EB and Gamestop are not the same company. Yes, the POS system is ancient, but you know what? It works.

      I don't know what store you worked at, but none of the ones in this district allow any of the ludicrous selling behavior to go on that you described. My manager would chew me out hardcore for forcing a subscription on someone who refused it. And when we don't know the answer to a question, we find out for the customer. We never intentionally mislead a customer. You must have really worked in a seriously messed up store, because that just doesn't happen at any of the local stores.

      The reason the PS2/XBOX/Gamecubes are stored in the bathroom is because I believe that's company policy. The bathroom can be locked easily while not preventing access to the back room (which is a pain to get into when it's locked).

      In this district, when we have product that isn't moving off the shelves, we ship it to a store that does sell a lot of that product.

      As for the subject matter at hand, though, we track the serial numbers of all systems we buy and sell, and while we don't hold merchandise (that wouldn't be very reasonable to do given the volume of trade-ins we get), we do have fairly strict policies regarding suspected stolen merchandise. We get contact information on everyone when they do a trade-in, so in the event of something like this, we could track down the individual and report them to the police. I'm pretty sure EB has the same policy here.
    • by Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:08PM (#8492560)
      They're routinely lied to and mislead, either out of contempt or ignorance.

      I got "banned" from a Gamestop in Orlando a while back for stopping somebody from being scammed by one of their employees.

      It was back when the Dreamcast was dropping in price to $99. It happened on a Sunday, because I went to Best Buy to get one, and they didn't have any of the keyboards left, so we went over to Gaystop to see if they had one. I got to witness an employee telling a father that the price drop didn't take effect until Tuesday.

      I spoke up and said that I just bought one at Best Buy for $99, and read many ads that morning in the newspaper for the same price. The father thanked me, flipped off the employee, and walked out, over to Best Buy. I was told I was no longer welcome in that store, which was ok, as that was the first and only time I had ever been there.
  • by draziw (7737) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:27PM (#8491706) Journal
    For Battlefield: Vietnam - Their price was ~4 cents lower vs amazon. In the reason for canceling section I wrote that I didn't want to deal with a company that traffics in stolen goods and charges the victim to get their gear back.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0 00 1AO01Y/draziw

    --
    +1 for low user ID and love for SCO
  • by rrace (606598) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:33PM (#8491745) Journal
    EB has been ripping off people for quite some time. For example, recently a friend of my bought castlevania for the ps2 from one of the local eb games here, and despite the salesman pitch to sell it to him used he refused and bought it new, or so he thought. Turns out they pawned off a used copy of the game in a new box. How do they do that? It seems they lift the bottom portion of the case and stick the disc in while not having to remove that silver tag on the top portion that is suppose to indicate the game is new. When he opened the game there were scratches and fingerprints on the disc itself. I don't know if this is illegal but these kinds of underhand tactics won't gain them any sympathy from me, I hope someone takes them to court.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:42PM (#8491801)
    They're simply charging their customary 15% re-robbing fee.
  • by JayBlalock (635935) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:45PM (#8491817)
    The article is rather fuzzy on who said what on EB's side, but it certainly sounds like corporate (or whoever the "spokesman" worked for) was just as uncaring as the store itself.

    The truly demented part was EB informing the woman that *she* has to sue the thief for restitution. This appears to be nothing less than a ploy to attempt to de facto rewrite property law in this regard. The onus is on THEM to sue the thief, as he committed fraud in selling them stolen property. And they would win, easily, given the Confession. He would probably just agree to hand over the money rather than even show up in court over it. That they're not taking that route can only suggest that they are attempting to absolve themselves of responsibility, and in the process, alter a few centuries of commonlaw.

    And, in the larger scheme, why not? This has to happen all the time. How many people write down the serial numbers of their gaming equipment, just on the off chance it gets stolen and pawned? Given their often-outrageous used prices, they must turn quite a tidy profit nationwide through turning a blind eye to stolen goods. And doing anything that causes them to assume responsibility for the goods would only hurt their profit margins.

    So, institute a hands-off policy where they assume no culpability at all, and put all responsibility for legal action upon the person who was stolen from. The number of people who would actually manage to sue them would be comparatively tiny. (especially considering most would just sue in small claims court, and not even dream of launching a multi-year legal fight over a $100 PS2.)

    It all makes a rather sad sense.

  • This story is OLD! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mycroft_514 (701676) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:55PM (#8491875) Journal
    I saw the action news report, and that was back in January. I thought that this forum was for topical subjects?

    As for the Hall of Shame, that happened quickly, and the store refused to give the money back after the hall of shame talked to them. Of course, that is pretty much a pre-requisite for getting on the hall of shame, because if they work it out, then they don't get there.
  • by celeb8 (682138) <celeb8&gmail,com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:57PM (#8491889)
    for what it's worth, here's a direct link to the comments page on their website. let em know what you think [ebgames.com]?
  • by ThisIsFred (705426) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @02:57PM (#8491890) Journal
    I've had my property burgled before. Luckily she got a confession out of the guy, and coupled with EB's breaking of the law, Michelle definitely has the upper hand. I don't think she's persuing this correctly though. Assuming that she has a homeowner's insurance policy, she should total the value of all the stolen items and see if it is worth more than the deductible. She should persue her insurance company for financial restitution, and just ask for justice regarding EB's blatant violation of the law.

    I hope her house was locked, so that the thief would have to break and enter to steal the property.
  • Stolen Stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hardburlyboogerman (161244) <kwsmith41747@windstream.net> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:05PM (#8491951) Homepage Journal
    Here in Kentucky,the actions of EB would get you 3 to 5 in the state pen.(It is a felony.)

    "Is it me or has the world gone completely apeshit?"
  • by StandardCell (589682) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:07PM (#8491974)
    From the EBgames.com website: If you would like to speak to a Customer Service representative for any reason , please call us at 1-877-432-9675. Hours of operation: Open 7 days a week, 8:00 am to midnight EST.

    If enough of us call to let them know about what we think of their policies, they might understand the magnitude of their problem. The call's free folks, and so is 5 minutes of your time on a Sunday.
    • by Vexinator (253312) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:17PM (#8492628)
      Good advice, and I took it.
      The gist of the conversation went as such:

      I explained that I would not be doing further business with them unless they changed this policy, which conflicts with laws designed to protect against the sale of stolen goods.

      The EBGames customer service rep put me through to a manager, who mentioned that this particular Florida incident took place over a month ago (the article above has the data Jan 29) and that they had been in contact with Michelle since then and were trying to rectify the situation.

      At this point I told them a press release regarding this matter, and any policy changes that occur from it, would be appreciated.
  • by Cloe_Rose (322769) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:11PM (#8492007) Homepage
    As some of you may know EB/Babbages and Funcloand stores are all now owned by the Barnes and Nobel group.
    If this store is using the model developed by Funco when I was worked for them in Texas the employees were required to get proof of who the person was ( state issues photo ID and if you are under 18 you needed a legal parent or guardian with you who then signed) and the customer was offered in store credit ( much higher $$ per game or to have a check mailed to the address on the picture ID. It sounds like the store manager might have been playing a little loose with the system put in place to differentiate the stores from pawn shops.
    I had a situation pretty close to that happen to me in that the kid sold off his families games by bringing in a neighbor who posed as Dad so he could trade in twenty Nintendo games ( dating myself I know) for one super NES game... well grandma comes in the next day just livid at me...I explained the situation to her researched the transaction and asked her who the adult who signed the receipt was....she didn't care that her friend/neighbor enabled the kid to sell his games ..she just wanted to get them back......I handled it differently than the Florida case in that to keep the customer from going any more ballistic we hade the corporate office replace the games that were already sold ( the legend of Zelda) and ate the loss.....we did blacklist the son and neighbor ...
  • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:12PM (#8492010) Homepage
    Some friends of mine recently had a whole shelf of DVD's stolen from their apartment (some of which were expensive imports from Japan). They contacted the police, filed the report, and were told that they should first call around to all the local used disc stores, starting with whichever ones were physically closest to their apartment. If the used disc store is on the up-and-up and wants to avoid legal troubles, they should be able to give them the goods back for free, and then it's *their* job to push things through the legal system to try to get reimbursed by the thief. Thus the legal hassles are offloaded from the original victim of theft to the store that bought the stolen goods, and the original victim walks away from the whole affair and doesn't need to be involved (except perhaps to give testimony as a witness in the event).

    The preferred method was to have the victim of the theft do all the 'legwork' and only involve the police if there is some difficulty in getting cooperation.

    Well, it worked. They found someone had just sold an alottment of DVD's that exactly matched the list of stolen goods (minus one that the thief apparently kept or lost). The store was cooperative and returned the goods. They had the name of the thief on record (and he'd stupidly used his real ID and real name when selling the goods), and were going to deal with the court case themselves.

    That was the last we'd heard of the incident.

    It would be a happy ending if it wasn't for the fact that the thief (remember he used his real name) turned out to be a friend we all knew. He knew about the DVD's because he'd been invited over on occasion to watch them. Obviously, this incident was the end of friendly relations with the guy. When my friend called him on the phone, he claimed "Oh, yeah, those DVD's, uhm yeah, some homeless black guy said he just found them and he gave a bunch of them to me. I didn't realize they were yours or I would have given them to you, dude." (Yeah, right - some of those DVD's were really obscure rare items, so there's no way he could fail to notice that that exact combination of DVD's was the same as the ones at his friend's house.)

    Some people can be real scum.

    But anyway, the point of the story is that this incident is an example of how pawn shops are supposed to work when everything is being done legally and with good intentions, unlike what EB games did.

  • by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere&yahoo,com> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:15PM (#8492025) Homepage Journal
    I've seen so many people say crap about them just wanting to recoup their losses. First, they have to do that via the *thief*, not the victim. Second - RTFA:

    But when Michelle went back to EB Games to pick up her lost property, she got another shock. EB Games insisted on selling her back her own property for roughly twice as much as they had paid the thief.

  • by Mike the Mac Geek (182790) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:25PM (#8492689) Journal
    My house was robbed, and the items traded in at Gamestop.

    Luckily, the police were on it fast, got the stuff seized, Gamestop fully cooperated. I been going there ever since.

    EB, I used to go there all the time. Never again.
  • Facts facts facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by werdna (39029) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @05:37PM (#8492765) Journal
    It is natural to look to various issues of injustice and argue what the result should be. In practice, a seasoned lawyer will recognize that the devil is always in the details, and that the general hypothetical might well be settled either way. In the absence of a comprehensive understanding of the facts, we are just guessing.

    I have learned, from extensive experience, that news reporting as to details is terribly weak. The news gets it right as to the big picture with astonishing frequency, but almost every news article I have seen published with which I had intimate familiarity with the details contains several material errors. In short, don't believe everything you read.

    Note, further, that law does not always provide a civil remedy for every bad action of a person or company, even where the conduct of EB may have been a violation or a crime. It is quite possible that EB may be subject to fines or worse, but that the buyer's sole recourse would be against the thief. It may well be that EB may be subject to restitution for various forms of conversion, plus punitive damages. Who knows? The devil is in the details. Without the facts, we'd just be guessing.
  • by Vthornheart (745224) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @08:11PM (#8493639)
    About regulation 538.08 (in the Florida Laws regarding secondhand dealers)

    --- 538.08 Stolen goods; petition for return.--

    (1) If the secondhand dealer contests the identification or ownership of the property, the person alleging ownership of the property may, provided that a timely report of the theft of the goods was made to the proper authorities, bring an action for replevin in the county or circuit court by petition in substantially the following form:

    Plaintiff A. B., sues defendant C. D., and alleges:

    1. This is an action to recover possession of personal property in _______________ County, Florida.

    2. The description of the property is: (list property) . To the best of plaintiff's knowledge, information, and belief, the value of the property is $_______________.

    3. Plaintiff is entitled to the possession of the property under a security agreement dated __________, (year) , a copy of which is attached.

    4. To plaintiff's best knowledge, information, and belief, the property is located at ____________________.

    5. The property is wrongfully detained by defendant. Defendant came into possession of the property by (describe method of possession) . To plaintiff's best knowledge, information, and belief, defendant detains the property because (give reasons) .

    6. The property has not been taken under an execution or attachment against plaintiff's property.

    (2) The filing fees shall be waived by the clerk of the court, and the service fees shall be waived by the sheriff. The court shall award the prevailing party attorney's fees and costs. In addition, when the filing party prevails in the replevin action, the court shall order payment of filing fees to the clerk and service fees to the sheriff.

    (3) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. Upon the receipt of a petition for a writ by a secondhand dealer, the dealer shall hold the property at issue until the court determines the respective interests of the parties.

    (4) In addition to the civil petition for return remedy, the state may file a motion as part of a pending criminal case related to the property. The criminal court has jurisdiction to determine ownership, to order return or other disposition of the property, and to order any appropriate restitution to any person. Such order shall be entered upon hearing after proper notice has been given to the secondhand dealer, the victim, and the defendant in the criminal case. --- Why on EARTH did she pay for something that was hers? The thought must've occurred to her at some point that there was a process (like the one listed above) to get it back without paying. Of course there is. And of course, it adds shady points to EB for taking advantage of her lack of knowledge and trying to score some extra illegal bucks. That's just low.

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