Can the police just take your property?
Question Details: Yesterday, my 18 year old son was riding my 12 year old son's bike and was stopped by the police who accused him of stealing it. I was called and told to bring proof of purchase. I showed up and showed them my receipt for the bike which has the picture, date and cost. The police then told me that the person who reported the bike stolen also has a receipt for the same type of bike and since neither receipt has a serial number they were taking the bike. Can they do that?
They cannot keep it after someone provides sufficient proof of ownership, or admits they *don't* own it (so that. the other claimant can get it), but as long as the true owner is unknown or indispute (and so long as it is evidence of a possible crime), they can hold onto it. They cannot give it to someone who may not own it; and they will not return evidence of a still-being-investigated or open crime.