Originally Posted by taustin
Nice try, but nobody said that. There is a procedure to reclaim stolen merchandise. It does not involve going on to someone else's property yourself and taking it solely on your own word that it's yours. You call the cops, tell them you spotted your stolen bike (take a picture with your cell phone even, preferably of the serial number) and let them handle it. Otherwise, you get a scenario like this:
You take the bike off the porch. A neighbor, after seeing you demand the bike (and not knowing what's going on) calls the cops on you. They come and arrest you, to the extent of holding you until they verify your story. Since you're not big on doing things properly, maybe you haven't properly reported the bike stolen in the first place, and they hold you for several days while they try to verify your story. If you mouth off to them, they take their time on that verifying. Even if they like you, you may well get prosecuted for trespassing, since you had no legal right to go on the other person's property even to recover your own stolen property.
Even if you have, they've wasted several hours of their time, that could be spent investigation far more serious crimes, and because you took the boke off the other guy's property, you've made it considerably more difficult to prove to a jury he ever had it. Because of your actions, the thief may well get away with it. If that's not encouraging crime, then what is it?
Do you really need to have someone explain to you that the way you recover stolen property is to report it stolen when it is, and if you spot it, you call the authorities? So that the court can examine the facts of the case and determine that it is, in fact, your property? Do you believe that every bicycle is so obviously unique that it couldn't possibly be the same model as what was stolen, but not the same bike? Without a review by the court, all you have is vigilantism. Your scenario offers the possibility of the thief killing you when you demand the bike back, and claiming self defense, since walking up to someone on the street and demanding something from them is probably strongarm robbery even if it's something they stole from you. Does that sound like a better option to you than simply calling the cops and going through the system?
You are as usual totally missing the point. If you reread what Harmon wrote you might understand my question which was why good faith ownership or the fact that it is illegal to take things that have been stolen because they might not be your property anymore should increase crime.
You are rambling about something else.