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.
Ok. Perspective time. How much $ are you out?
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.
Sorry for your problems, but thanks for sharing your experience.
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.