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Police 'Steal' From Unlocked Cars 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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Police 'Steal' From Unlocked Cars

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  • by SOdhner ( 1619761 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @12:12PM (#29218201) Homepage Journal
    So, first we have a story about reverse-pickpockets [], and now reverse-policing.

    Oh no... watch out for the fire department!
  • It really seems like the police might have more important things to do...are they police or nannies?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by brainboyz ( 114458 )

      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!

  • by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:11AM (#29228579)

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

  • by mrdogi ( 82975 ) <mrdogi.sbcglobal@net> on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:16AM (#29229723) Homepage

    Subject really says it all.

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

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because replacing a smashed window is expensive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by v1 ( 525388 )

        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: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dave562 ( 969951 )
          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.
          • I drive a Yugo. I hang a $100 bill from the rear-view mirror along with the keys, hoping someone will take it.
    • 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?

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by brainboyz ( 114458 )

      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.

      • iPod? Laptop?

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

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          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: (Score:3, Informative)

            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.

  • 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.

  • by Coraon ( 1080675 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:19PM (#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: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by jameskojiro ( 705701 )

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

  • 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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.
  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • 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 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.

  • 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?

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.