If a friend of mine found a wallet outside of a store door and picked up it and left with it, are there any kind of legal issues that could arise?

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If a friend of mine found a wallet outside of a store door and picked up it and left with it, are there any kind of legal issues that could arise?

Asked on August 28, 2011 Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your friend has a reasonable clue as to the owner of the wallet; for example from identification, etc., your friend could be charged with larceny for taking the wallet.

Larceny is the trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive.  Since your friend picked up the wallet and left with it, this would constitute a trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another.  Your friend's taking the wallet and leaving with it would indicate that your friend does not intend to return it and therefore has the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of his/her personal property.


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