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I have evidence of who has my drone. Police will not do anything.
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3219 45 2015-10-18
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pcocherell
lvl.2
Flight distance : 91814 ft
United States
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I was trying the follow mode feature for the first time. I drove 5 miles round trip. My house was set up as the homepoint. A half mile away from my home the app disconnected. I was not overly alarmed being that it does this often. I pull in my driveway only to realize the drone is auto landing with 15% battery a half mile away. I raced back to area it was landing. I actually ended up pulling into a parking lot a good distance away, got out of car and thought about taking over but i let it do its thing. I saw the drone landing in the bicyle lane. Turns out there were a few people watching it land. the moment it landed someone picked it up and put it in their truck. I get back in car and drive to where he was, when i made the u turn, he was gone and so was the battery power, I no longer had a gps signal to track. I came home and immediately started searching twitter, facebook, i posted a craigslist lost ad. The following day I search facebook again. In the find friends search i typed in "found drone". About a half hour later I find it. The same guy I saw holding the drone saying his co worker came up on this $1000 drone. I know its mine, it even has the gimbal protector with the zip ties. The last image sent back to smartphone was of inside his truck. i took a photo of that. Anyway, I compiled all of this together and went to the sheriffs station thinking this should be easy. I have his name, location, my flight log with photo taken inside truck. They tell me there is nothing we can do. There is no way you can prove thats yours. What?!!! Is there something I am missing here? How in the hell can they say that?

guzman drone post.JPG
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last image sent to smartphone from inside truck.JPG
last location.JPG
street view showing same view from inside truck.JPG
2015-10-18
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-=RaM=-
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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Thats really lame of the Police to just write it off.. Can you try again maybe a different cop will be on duty that may be intested or maybe contact the guy that picked it up over FB and present all the evidence you have then call his bluff saying hand it over or i'll contact the Police.
2015-10-18
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Nicholas Rønsho
lvl.4

Denmark
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think the drone has its seriel number stored in memory ? Same serial as you have on your box.
2015-10-18
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tmygun1
First Officer
Flight distance : 2972497 ft
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United States
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Yes....get the serial number off the box.
2015-10-18
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gongml
lvl.3
Flight distance : 595413 ft
Canada
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Nicholas Rønsho Posted at 2015-10-18 08:19
think the drone has its seriel number stored in memory ? Same serial as you have on your box.

I think DJI should implement a lock-my-drone feature.  If a password is required to link drone with a new RC, then it won't be as easy to use or profit from other's drone.
2015-10-18
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pcocherell
lvl.2
Flight distance : 91814 ft
United States
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gongml Posted at 2015-10-18 03:55
I think DJI should implement a lock-my-drone feature.  If a password is required to link drone wit ...

true, the serial number is embedded in the memory. i tried explaining this and all they tell me is that we can't just go call someone up or knock at their door and ask to see the drone to compare serials. I have tried contacting him on facebook, no response yet. not expecting one either.maybe everyone on the forum here should message him and tell him to return it. Perhaps his intentions are good. That's what I want to believe. In reality though. he had an opportunity to post a photo and say found drone, contact me or provide serial number to prove its yours etc...I have about had it with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. They have lost my respect. Seems to be trending these days. I contacted Dji about this. They replied by saying, "that's a sad story."

At this point, I wish someone ran it over instead of me sitting here wondering if it is being enjoyed by someone else at my expense.
2015-10-18
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dji.blitzk
lvl.3

United States
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First off, You know what you were doing was stupid, and probably illegal.  You should have maintained visual sight of your aircraft at all times.

Second, if the police won't do anything: Get a lawyer to write him a certified letter of intent to sue.... If that doesn't work, take him to small claims court.

2015-10-18
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Westside Osprey
lvl.4
Flight distance : 95915 ft
United States
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I think you should be very happy you did not cause an accident. That could have been very expensive. It was a very foolish way to fly. In such a crowded area.

If the drone had caused a fatal accident imagine the newspaper headlines. "Drone crashes into school-bus window stunning driver causing him to panic and..."

And I bet then the police would have found you.

So I would count myself lucky and if you get this one back or buy another one. Think about what you are doing.
2015-10-18
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jimcloud74
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1298317 ft
United States
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It's pretty low of the guy to do that but douches do exist in this world. At least he has to buy a $600 dollar remote to use but I know that doesn't make you feel any better.  I guess it landed at the last gps coordinate that the bird updated before losing signal. Sorry for your loss.
2015-10-18
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Cessna172
Second Officer
United States
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You can't just "take" something because it's there and claim ignorance.   You did not abandon your property....it was stolen.
If someone parks their bicycle outside a store or at the curb and they then go inside a store, can you just "take" it ?  Of course not.

This is theft.   

You need to file an official Police report with all the information you have.
Next, you must file a claim in court.   You will get your drone back ultimately or be compensated.Police officers cannot ususally take recovery actions unless there is a court order.   GET ONE.
I suspect once the perp knows you are taking legal action your drone will be returned.

Otherwise, he may potentially face a felony charge.

Personally, I would never let this go in 1000 years.
That said, be careful how and where you fly.
  But I have seen staff of prominent drone forums fly in more risky manners than you did.



2015-10-18
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gregg1r
First Officer

United States
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Get your serial number and receipt if you have one and go back to the police station and file a lost property report. State that you saw a person pick it up and drive off. Give them a description of the person and truck. Do not take no for an answer.

Once you have the police report, wait a  week, then contact DJI to see if they can place that serial number on a list that doesn't allow for the unit to be re-registered

The Pilot app has the serial number of the unit listed.

The person that has possession of your Phantom doesn't have a $1k Phantom, they have a $600 quad as without the transmitter or charger there's no way to operate the unit.

In most states, it's illegal to keep property that's been found with monetary value without notifying the police. If it goes unclaimed, then it can be awarded to the finder.
2015-10-18
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Spankybear
Second Officer
Flight distance : 685089 ft
United States
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Maybe Bill and Ted can help you out?
2015-10-18
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kairkyo161
lvl.3

United States
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according to the FAA your UAV has all of the rights as any full sized manned aircraft. what are the charges for grand theft aircraft? find a lawyer and have him push it
2015-10-18
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lb11778
lvl.2
Flight distance : 368842 ft
United States
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I agree with Westside Osprey & dji.blitzk you were careless and are lucky you did not cause an accident.  People like you are the reason the DOT is going  to a  UAS registration. It is theft but you could also be fined by the FAA for much more than what the Phantom cost you.  Consider yourself very lucky and I hope there are no FAA employees reading this blog.
2015-10-18
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Bittsandbobs
lvl.3

Italy
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You have registered your drone with DJI.
2015-10-18
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LICENSED PILOT
First Officer
Flight distance : 644833 ft
United States
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Westside Osprey Posted at 2015-10-18 21:51
I think you should be very happy you did not cause an accident. That could have been very expensive. ...

Well said. All this story says to me is that there is a cost to being irresponsible.
2015-10-18
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LICENSED PILOT
First Officer
Flight distance : 644833 ft
United States
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You are better of w/o it. So is the rest of the neighborhood. Just saying...
2015-10-18
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Jay_Bit
lvl.4

United States
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So...here's a thought...if you know who has it, and where it is...pick up a can of 'whoop-ass' head over there and kindly ask for your property...then see if the cops will do something this time around. Oh, and I am not a fan of thieves, just sayin'.
2015-10-18
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BASS 666
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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go to his door and say im here for my drone .. he will say prove its yours and you tell him what the serial number is ... he sees the number on the bird and then he cant argue ....
2015-10-18
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pcocherell
lvl.2
Flight distance : 91814 ft
United States
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2015-10-18 14:11
You are better of w/o it. So is the rest of the neighborhood. Just saying...

I had a visual on it the whole time. Up until the app disconnected. According to what I have read it is recommended to have it in line of sight but that an operator can rely on first person view if needed. Perhaps the FAA or whom ever needs to officially lay out rules if there are going to be any. They are way too vague. Everything I read is we suggest, we recommend. Also, what is the drone doing auto landing 2000 ft away from home point. It had battery left to make it that far. Takes about half a minute to get that far. According to the healthydrone website, it shows the battery could have gone past 23 minutes and then some. It landed at 17 min and 46 seconds. No one was in harms way, I was there when it landed, just at a distance and I decided to let it land right next to sidewalk in bike lane with no traffic. I was afraid if I took over I would get carried away and want to move drone closer to me and then all of a sudden battery may have pooped out. Also, all the promotional videos for the follow feature talk about how it can be your own film crew and they are basically bragging how you don't have to be in control. That being said, I don't recommend it now. I am as safe and cautious as the next person. Perhaps I trusted the software when I should not have. 15 plus years of driving, no accidents, and no tickets. 30 plus years of life on earth, I have never taken something that belonged to someone else. I appreciate all the input, even the ones saying I am a fool. I will take it into consideration. Eyeballs should be glued to the drone in the sky. At the same time, maybe Dji should remove from the website on the phantom 3 page that the drone will automatically return to home in any of these 3 scenarios. 1. critically low battery. 2. lost connection. 3. return to home button pressed.
2015-10-18
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snsjets
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2730518 ft
United States
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Good golly, so much shame on this forum!  I hope all those drone board cops' flights go ablsolutely perfect and "legal".

I hope the OP does get his Phantom back since he is definitely dealing with a crook.:@  It must  be frustrating that the police are less than helpful.  What is their job anyways?

2015-10-18
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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BASS 666 Posted at 2015-10-19 10:49
go to his door and say im here for my drone .. he will say prove its yours and you tell him what the ...

Really? You would go to the door of a thief and say that? In the US where he is likely to pull a gun on you?
2015-10-18
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iceman58
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Flight distance : 9016 ft
United States
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snsjets Posted at 2015-10-18 19:45
Good golly, so much shame on this forum!  I hope all those drone board cops' flights go ablsolutely  ...

I totally agree with you, those few that are giving their professional advise never comment on anything constructive but only run their mouth every chance they get.
2015-10-18
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nstrong48
lvl.2

United States
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This is what small claims is for
2015-10-18
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countrysidegard
lvl.2

United States
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Lol trolls.... I'd love to see the flight logs of the guys that talk down on the OP. I'd be willing to bet 9 of 10 have out of sight flights and over 400'. I say you post those pics u have on Craigslist, fb, maybe a local media outlet... Stir that pot till u get your bird back! Regardless of how you were flying, it's wrong to take another's property! I've written my name and number with a sharpie, and used an engraver to etch into the plastic ever so lightly on my bird. Assuming that doesn't void the warranty I'd highly recommend ppl doing the same.
2015-10-18
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

Hong Kong
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Correct, serial number is a prove that it belongs to you, as well as DJI ID set on your e-mail
2015-10-18
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BASS 666
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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Geebax Posted at 2015-10-19 02:11
Really? You would go to the door of a thief and say that? In the US where he is likely to pull a g ...

then that just goes to show how stupid some people are ... he would pull a gun and he knows hes in the wrong for having stolen property in the first place .... you would need to be a proper stupid nut job to pull a gun on somebody just because they are in the right ...

I know nothing about the states but if that's the way it is then im glad I live in the UK....
2015-10-19
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rodger
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gongml Posted at 2015-10-18 06:55
I think DJI should implement a lock-my-drone feature.  If a password is required to link drone wit ...

It is not that easy to link it to another RC. In order to do a link to another transmitter you need the Q Code on the original packaging. DJI does this just for that reason. It is worthless to anyone other than the holder of the Q Code.
2015-10-19
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Swedrone
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Hope there will be a possibility to block drones that are stolen. DJI could surely force some kind of handshake with their systems when booting up. Or send some kind of kill-pill Would force you to be online at least before each flight though..
2015-10-19
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Flight Raptor
Second Officer
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Nicholas Rønsho Posted at 2015-10-18 06:49
think the drone has its seriel number stored in memory ? Same serial as you have on your box.

Serial is key...

Box lists S/N for:
Craft
Camera
Repeater

You quad has a serial number sticker on it....
2015-10-19
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rodger
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As a former Police Officer in the US and the complaint was filed at our PD I would have taken the minute or two to have a discussion with the party that allegedly had the Phantom. Clearly you have enough proof of ownership. Usually my type of discussion in this type of issue is enough. However, legally he has done nothing wrong. He found it, he did not steal it. Have a civil conversation with him and point out that it is worthless to him. Offer him a few bucks as a reward for finding it and returning it and call it a day.

If the above does not work you may want to visit the PD again and hope for a different Officer. You must know someone that knows a PO if you do, ask them to interveen on your behalf.

Above all, be civil. If you are not the Tide will turn to his favor.

I hope you get your Phantom back.
2015-10-19
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gongml
lvl.3
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Canada
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rodger Posted at 2015-10-19 10:31
It is not that easy to link it to another RC. In order to do a link to another transmitter you nee ...

Maybe it is different on pro/adv models, but on standard model, all I needed to do is to push the little Link Button on the drone body and do a gesture combination using S2 switch and Gimbal Dial...
2015-10-19
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rodger
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gongml Posted at 2015-10-19 10:23
Maybe it is different on pro/adv models, but on standard model, all I needed to do is to push the  ...

Possible? I have never had to do it but now that you mention it I think Sploodge mentioned something about that.
Let's hope that you can work things out with the person that has possession of it? I really don't understand why he will not return it??
2015-10-19
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Fred1969
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United States
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rodger Posted at 2015-10-19 09:01
It is not that easy to link it to another RC. In order to do a link to another transmitter you nee ...

This is not true.  I bought a second remote for my Phantom 3A from  someone on eBay and all you have to do is push a little button on the side of the drone and it will connect right up with it.  I converted my original remote to a long range remote and bought a second stock remote from someone who crashed their Phantom.  It is no problem at all and very easy to link a new remote to a Phantom 3A.  You don't need anything special  to do it but a new remote.
2015-10-19
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richardmartin
lvl.2

United States
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So, there's been a lot of advice and some bullshit along with it.  Blah blah you shouldn't be a drone owner, etc.

I'm no fan of the thief who took your poperty or the cops who refused to help you.  Sorry to say, they were probably too interested in getting back to producing revenue.

I hope you pursue regaining possession of your property, whatever it takes.  Good luck, I'll be anxious to hear about you getting it back.
2015-10-19
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pcocherell
lvl.2
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rodger Posted at 2015-10-19 06:14
As a former Police Officer in the US and the complaint was filed at our PD I would have taken the mi ...

So if I find a bag of money, finders keepers?
2015-10-20
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pcocherell
lvl.2
Flight distance : 91814 ft
United States
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By the way I got it back. I just became one hell of an annoying pest and messaged a boat load of the persons facebook friends asking them to contact him regarding the drone. All of a sudden I noticed the photo was gone and then i received a message asking for a number. I received a phone call. he chewed me out telling me to write his facebook friends and let them know he is off the hook because the drone would be returned to me and that he is not a jerk and what not.  then he told me he does not have it and that the "co worker" has it. Few minutes later I received a call from him, later that evening I picked it up.  Co worker pretty much admitted that he had no intentions of looking for an owner or dropping it off at a police station. in fact, he was in the process of figuring out what type  of charger and remote he is going to need. when  he found out that i was looking for it and i knew where it was he felt he should do the right thing and return it.

To sum it up....

a few guys working together on way to work in two vehicles. vehicle 1 pulls over and picks up drone and claims it. he hands to dude in vehicle 2 and they continue to work. the new owner of my drone in vehicle 1 has no idea that idiot co worker is taking a photo of it and posting it to facebook stating, "look what co worker just came up on. $1000 drone. so basically the one ruined it for the other one. Get this....they don't understand how it is I found it. It's simple......i typed in two words on facebook, "found drone" An hour later, there it was. Remember now kids, most criminals are well.....stupid.
2015-10-20
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BASS 666
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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good man .. im glad you had the balls to do something about it yourself instead of trying the crap some people were saying ... I got chewed for saying I would go to his door but call me stupid if you want cause I would have went to his door no matter what ! its simple .. he stole your rig and you were not going to get it back and if you had of went down the route of courts and all the other crap that was said you still wouldn't have got it back so well done mate and im happy for you ....
2015-10-20
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rodger
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pcocherell@gmai Posted at 2015-10-20 05:37
So if I find a bag of money, finders keepers?

Depends on the circumstances?
2015-10-20
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rodger
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pcocherell@gmai Posted at 2015-10-20 05:59
By the way I got it back. I just became one hell of an annoying pest and messaged a boat load of the ...

All is well that ends well. Most people would return the item if they knew who it belonged to. When I find something and then the rightful owner I enjoy the pleasure of their appreciation when they get the item(s) back.
2015-10-20
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