Stolen Leica TCRP1201 R300
I just "bought" a Leica TCRP1201 off Fleabay and ran the numbers on Leica myWorld. As you can see, Leica is claiming that the Total Station is stolen.
If anyone is looking for it, an eBay seller in Washington (username: innovationbest) has it.
Judging by the amount of sales he has had and his feedback rating, I wouldn't mind guessing that he didn't know that it was stolen. Having said that though, he isn't answering my emails calling for a cancellation of the sale. I only bought it two days ago. He hasn't received my money yet. It's also the weekend, so he might be busy. Not that it matters. He might be a champion- but the instrument is stolen.
On another note, I contacted eBay and told them what happened, in the hope that I would be allowed to opt out of the sale entirely. Nope. No joy.
EBay's official response (in writing) was for me to continue with the sale, then surrender the Total Station to the "local authorities" (I'm in Germany and I am buying it from Washington, so I'm pretty sure "zie Germans" won't be able to do anything except accept it's surrender then auction it off themselves- after I pay the import tax to get it into Germany of course), then make a claim to get my money back from the seller. As you can imagine, that's not particularly appealing.
I told eBay (and later Paypal) that it is a criminal offence for me to pay for goods that I know or believe to be stolen or otherwise tainted, and that it is also a criminal offence for me to take possession of those goods. I also quoted the law directly. Nope. No joy again. Again, the official response (again, in writing) was for me to proceed with the transaction. Both parties- eBay and Paypal- have insisted in writing that I continue with the transaction whilst accepting what the law says at the same time.
As you can probably guess, the money left my bank account this morning. I didn't get to my bank in time. EBay and Paypal have just forced me into an illegal position.
Does anyone know a good "no win, no pay" lawyer? There could be some coin in this.
I am surprised both eBay and PayPal did not step up.
Sounds like also 'wire fraud' which may be a federal offense. You may be able to contact the US Atty General's office to see if they can help and if not, maybe Washington State (?) AG's office. Good luck and I hope the seller steps up to the plate.
$3k. Not the end of the world. That's a good deal for what the gear is. Not too expensive, but also not so cheap as to raise alarm bells. Hence the reason why I bought it.
EBay assures me that I'll get the money back, and I believe them. There was Paypal protection on the sale itself. That's not the problem. The problem is that I went to them well before the funds were sent and tried to stop it but they not only steadfastly refused, but insisted that I receive the stolen goods.
Like I mentioned before, the seller seems reputable. His feedback score and overall sales history is amazing. I really don't believe that he knows it is stolen.
And who knows: maybe it isn't stolen? Maybe it has been cleared and Leica haven't been told. I've contacted Leica but they haven't replied.
Clearly eBay and Paypal need their pound of flesh for the sale. I would imagine that that is their motive here.
To be honest, I was more interested in reuniting the instrument with it's owner. Then I got the wind in my sails and decided to have a big ol' sook.
The seller has since cancelled the sale as per request. As you can imagine, Paypal took the money out of my account after the cancellation request was made, and is now telling me that I have to wait 10 days for their resolution centre to investigate- which includes contacting the seller apparently. Anything to earn that interest on my money I guess.
Can someone please win the lottery? I have some ideas to put sites like Fleabay and Bookface out of business.
I wonder if the people at Feebay ever wonder why Jeff Bezos is so rich?
Again, and I cannot stress this enough, I do not believe that the seller attempted to defraud me.
Leica finally replied:
"Hello Mr. D'Aubyn -
The best way to determine if your equipment was legitimately sold is to take the equipment to the closest authorized dealer. Please use the link below to locate a dealer in your region."
"No thanks. That means I would need to take delivery of something that you say is stolen. There is no way I am touching it."
So it would appear that the information given to me by Leica myWorld might not be the holy grail after all.
Make of that what you will.
I wnt through this with stolen Leica stuff. Found out it was stolen, made a police report and turned in the equipment. After that, it took over three months to get my money back from Ebay. Finally lost my patience with them and sent them a letter:
You've had the police report and my money for three months. If Ebay does not return my money within 72 hours I will swear out a warrant for the arrest of all your Directors for fraud. Best regards.
The phone rang in 20 minutes. I had my money 72 hours later.