Should I file a police statement against delivery company?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Should I file a police statement against delivery company?

I bought a washer from Lowes. The delivery man was instructed to leave the old
washer in the garage. The delivery company took my washer to the local Lowes.
Lowes cannot locate my appliance and will not return it. I want to file a police report
for stolen goods. Is this a good idea? Should I pursue this matter?

Asked on February 10, 2017 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As long as you are filing a police report in good faith, based on what you believe to be true, there is no harm in filing one. It is possible that the police will investigate and, if they do, that may help you get your washer back.
However, while there is no harm in filing a report in good faith, be aware that there is a significant likelihood that doing so will not in fact accomplish anything. First, there is high probability that the police will not take action, based either on a belief that this is a "civil" matter involving a breach of contract or dispute between customer and store, not a crime, and so should be resolved via lawsuit; or even if they think it may represent a criminal act, many police departments will simply not devote resources to a matter like this, not when they have drug and violent crimes to deal with. Second, even if they take some action (e.g. investigate), that is no guaranty they will find the washer or determine what happened to it.
Remember also that it is only a crime IF someone deliberately took the washer; if it was lost by mistake, that is not a crime, though it is still something you can sue over (see below).
You can sue for the value of the washer, if you believe the store or its employees lost it, broke it, disposed of it, sold or gave to someone else. Proof of a criminal intention is not required for a civil lawsuit. However, you can only recover the actual value of the old washer *at that time* given its make, model, age, condition, etc. Unless that is considerably more than the amount of money you are being offered, it is likely best to simply accept the offered compensation and move on.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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