Tuesday’s report on police having recovered 60 stolen motor vehicles in the last three months was the talk of the town. Readers might wonder why the rightful owners have not yet reclaimed theirs, but doing so is often anything but simple and straightforward.
For starters, another crime could have been committed with the car, which can make it evidence in a penal investigation. There were even cases with more than one vehicle identification number (VIN), while sometimes unsuspecting parties purchase stolen goods in good faith.
The latter is obviously an issue when they are unable to prove such, so having a bill of sale in addition to a valid driver’s licence and inspection card plus proof of insurance and road tax payment becomes essential. One also needs to be careful when buying especially a used car and bring along someone who knows what to look for unless it involves a reputable dealer, because professing innocence alone may not be enough to avoid sanctions.
There were allegations of a cover-up regarding stolen vehicles that the police deny. They will nevertheless request that the Chief Prosecutor open an objective investigation in the interest of transparency, which is the correct response.
In general, people should stay away from bargains appearing unrealistically low-priced or they may end up not only losing their mode of transportation but possibly facing charges as well. Prevailing wisdom suggests that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.