While this is hopefully not a common occurrence, sometimes a new repoman for boats or even cars might i n the heat of the moment grab the wrong unit. If he does, it is considered grand theft although it may have some extra weight in a court room I really don’t know, just a guess.
Your honor, the unit was exactly the same model and it was at the very same address as the unit I was supposed to pick up and I mistakenly grabbed it with absolutely no bad intentions, my adrenaline was through the roof as it was a crime ridden area and I have only been a repossession agent for 2 months now. I left and soon after around 3 miles down the road I realized I had forgetting to check the VIN and as soon as I noticed it was the wrong unit, I immediately brought it back and upon returning the police were already at the scene and I was charged with grand theft.
While I don’t think this explanation will help tremendously, I do believe with some judges and the right attorney it might. After all it had to be a probable repossession as it was the identical unit, color and address.
In fact what does a repoman do if a unit matching description, color, tag and all is sitting at the given address or last known address but the debtor has the VIN covered? Is a repossession agent allowed to legally open the door to check the VIN at least since it was probable the unit was the actual unit.
I had heard previously that in certain states it was allowed if everything matched and the owner purposely covered the VIN. The repoman might be able to open the door to check the actual VIN number, could be wrong as it has been a while, would like to hear some comments on this if anyone knows.
Some debtors know everything
It is not uncommon for debtors that think they know everything thinking to tape VINs no one can take their property, especially those types that think they are walking, living, breathing Wikipedias. Those types that cannot say or do any wrong, they know more than a lawyer or even a judge, they know the laws and are convinced they are above the law so why not cover the VIN to be safe from the repoman…
As far as getting caught taking the wrong unit, I could’t even imagine having to explain that, but I know it does happen and I heard of a couple similar situations that went down years ago.
As a newly licensed repoman, imagine finding a unit with the exact match everything and for some crazy reason with all the stuff you have to do, the one thing you forget is to VIN the unit. You take it and later realize hopefully not after you have called it in that this unit is not the correct unit. Uff.
Grand Theft Auto and calling it in
What a feeling that must be knowing that you are currently committing grand theft and you are really just trying to do your job. For a minute there you were happy knowing you are getting paid and it’s one unit down from your list.
Another thing that is crazy in the midst of a repossession, is the fact that you must call in the unit within a certain time period. In my training I learned the sooner the better to get it over with and not forget. I also remember several times late night calling in a unit to the Police station and they cannot find the VIN in the system and they tell you to stay right where you are until a unit shows up. At this moment you are thinking wow, did I take the wrong unit. Is this a fake VIN, just a hundred things go through your mind as they make you wait right there. They know where you are because it is one of the previous questions they ask upon calling in a repossession. You just sit there thinking WTF. Sometimes a few minutes later they call you back saying sorry their system was updating for a moment that they now found it, to go ahead and go. other times they make you wait 30 minutes till a cop shows up.
This business is not for the weak hearted. It is not only the debtors that give you constant grief, it is also the horrendous regulations that we just cannot seem to avoid. Are the regulations needed to try and eliminate the extorting scumbag repossession agencies, yes. Do the regulations go overboard? absolutely, enough to make a normal guy not want to be in this business.