What to do if I had a roommate who moved out and left a bike at our house?

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What to do if I had a roommate who moved out and left a bike at our house?

He had a separate lease. About 6months after he moved out, he asked if it was still there and I said yes. I moved out a month later and took it with me. It is worth less than $200. He has been trying to get in touch with me to get it back. My research indicates that it’s still his (which I was unaware of) and I shouldn’t have taken it. I haven’t admitted to taking it or responded to any of his requests. Can I be held criminally liable? Do I need to send it back to him? Even if I send it back, could I still be found guilty of a crime?

Asked on June 11, 2013 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Based upon what you have written, you need to give your former roommate back his bicycle. It is his and not yours. In essence you stole the bicycle and if not returned immediately you are subject to a criminal action for theft. Even if you return the item you could be charged with theft.


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