What should I do if I stored my personal clothes at a friend’s apartment for 2.5 months but when I came back to pick up the stuff, I realized half of it was missing?

The total value of the missing items is at least $17,900. When I contacted my friend/owner of the apartment to disclose that my personalties are missing, he assumed it was a girl he met online and let stay in his apartment. He also said they ended their relationship on a “bad note,” he asked her to “leave the apartment,” and that “she was very angry” when leaving. He also said this girl is a “crook” and there is no way I could ever retrieve my missing belongings.

Asked on November 1, 2014 under Criminal Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I would speak with an attorney about the facts of your case, which sound as if there could be a cause of action against your friend under the legal theory called "bailment." A bailment is created when someone entrusts his property temporarily to someone else without intending to give up title. The bailor - your friend - takes on the responsibility of keeping the good safe.  While you may not be able to retrieve your goods - you could also try filing a police report against whom ever you think took them but what real proof do you have? - you may be able to recover monetary damages.  Good luck.

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