What to do if a casino is charging a friend with theft from a found phone that was returned?

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What to do if a casino is charging a friend with theft from a found phone that was returned?

Is this legal? She didn’t steal the phone but was found laying on a table.

Asked on September 5, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Andrew Goldberg

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes. Your friend will have to defend  against the charges. She should call a lawyer. I do not have sufficient facts but it does not sound like "Theft by taking of moveable property". The more troublesome charge may be "Receiving stolen propery" "Receiving stolen property" is broadly defined by the Pa. Crimes Code"In part, it is defined ( generally ) as possession of properety that you do not rightfully own and do not have permission from the owner to possess. Arguably, when she took possession of the cell phone, knowing it was not hers, that could be "Receiving stolen propery". I would like to know how long she had possession of it and what she did with it. Did she immediately return it to its owner ? ( that would be favorable to her )


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