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Old 01.10.2016, 13:13
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Stolen car story

5 weeks ago a colleague had his car pinched in Geneva. Colleague lives in France and it's a French registered car.

While swimming in the lake; their unsecured bag, with keys was nicked. Carte gris was in the car.

Colleague was kicking themselves in the ass for being so damn careless. They were honest with the insurer, who are dissatisfied with the circumstances and there's an ongoing claim discussion.

Fast forward to this week and colleague receives a strange call. "We just bought this nice car from your son in France, with key and registration documents etc, we're a Geneva based car dealer, we have a few doubts and want to just double check with you that everything is straight".

Colleague replies "I don't have a son, the car is mine, it was stolen, what's your name, address, details can you please report this to the Police etc?"

Caller replies, "actually, we've sold car already and don't have it anymore, we'll erm, call you back tomorrow, bye!". The caller did not withhold their number.

On the off chance, colleague jumps in car (daughter's!) to main border crossing to ask customs officers if they recall such a car recently being imported into Geneva.

One officer he asks grunts, shrugs, points to colleague who dealt with the car from the previous day. Officer pulls the file, which has name, address, garage details of the importer in Geneva.

Supervisor of border crossing gets a little bent out of shape because officer who dealt with the import didn't check the VIN code against a database (my colleague thinks Interpol?). He checks the VIN against said database in his office, sees the car is stolen, accepts my colleagues evidence of ownership, sighs deeply and goes back inside his office to make a call.

Police arrive, story is retold, they take all details, tell my colleague to go home and wait for their call.

4 hours later colleague receives a call from Police. When they arrived at the car garage, they found the car, not yet passed to new owners and in good shape. Police "secured" the car while they figure next steps, which could take days or weeks.

My colleague genuinely doesn't know who now has legal right to claim ownership of the car.

More importantly, if someone buys a previously stolen car in good faith from a garage, would they have discovered it was stolen at the point they try to get it registered?

Colleague is wondering how the frick a car dealer could be so dumb to not do their homework before they bought the car. Colleague smiles politely when reminded how the car was stolen.

I expect I've missed some parts of story. It was a 5 min conversation. I'll update the anecdote when I learn more..

Happy weekend EF'ers.
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Old 01.10.2016, 14:03
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Re: Stolen car story

No matter how foolish your colleage was in the first first part of the story (leaving the keys unattended), I do feel for him.

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On the off chance, colleague jumps in car (daughter's!) to main border crossing to ask customs officers if they recall such a car recently being imported into Geneva.
Now that was a smart move!

It's a fascinating story and sounds like the basis for good movie... please do post the next episode.
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Old 01.10.2016, 15:26
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Re: Stolen car story

I do hope there is a happy end to this story...

And yet another reminder that the law that requires you to keep the original grey card in the car is beyond foolish.

That level of trust belongs to a world long gone.

I keep a blurry photocopy in the car, printed on pink colored paper so not even the dimmest of thieves or car buyers could think it was an original. If I am ever stopped, the police can wait until I fetch the original.
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Old 01.10.2016, 15:35
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Re: Stolen car story

We too keep an obvious photocopy in the car. I've had to present it a few times, Meloncollie. There has never been any hissy fit over it, and they have never wanted to see the original. (As I also presented with multiple licences, they may have thought they had enough of a headache already?)
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Old 01.10.2016, 16:40
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Re: Stolen car story

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More importantly, if someone buys a previously stolen car in good faith from a garage, would they have discovered it was stolen at the point they try to get it registered?
When buying from a garage, a good faith buyer is protected by Art. 934 ZGB. The original owner can get the car back but has to compensate the buyer. I don't think the garage (or anyone else) enjoys that protection when buying from a private person.
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Old 01.10.2016, 19:26
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Re: Stolen car story

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t the law that requires you to keep the original grey card in the car
There is no such law.

The law is that you must have it available, I keep mine on my person.

The US has the same law, by the way.

Tom
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Old 01.10.2016, 19:28
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Re: Stolen car story

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There is no such law.
There is. Nichtmitführen des Fahrzeugausweises - 20 CHF fine
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Old 01.10.2016, 19:32
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Re: Stolen car story

That states, as I already said, that you must have it with you, NOT that you must keep it in the vehicle.

Tom
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Old 01.10.2016, 19:36
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Re: Stolen car story

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That states, as I already said, that you must have it with you, NOT that you must keep it in the vehicle.
Ah yes, of course. You don't have to keep it in the locked car. But while driving, it must be in the vehicle!
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Old 01.10.2016, 19:40
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Re: Stolen car story

For my DD I have the original in the glovebox, I should probably make a photocopy, but the car would be worth more if it was stolen than the cost of a scan and printout would cost.

What bothers me most about the story is that the car crossed the border and the theft was not detected, despite having been registered... by customs officials who can apparently tell if the (duty free) dog bones that you are importing have more than 20% meat on them.
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Old 01.10.2016, 20:01
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Re: Stolen car story

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Ah yes, of course. You don't have to keep it in the locked car. But while driving, it must be in the vehicle!
So keep it in your wallet.

OK, not so easy when one has 12 vehicles with multiple drivers.

Tom
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Old 01.10.2016, 22:34
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Re: Stolen car story

Or you could apply for a Halterwechsel verboten remark for each of them, it costs about 50 Fr.
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Old 01.10.2016, 22:50
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Re: Stolen car story

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Or you could apply for a Halterwechsel verboten remark for each of them, it costs about 50 Fr.
Which for 12 means CHF 600!

Tom
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Old 01.10.2016, 23:06
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Re: Stolen car story

If your car is stolen, and the police find it, then it will be returned to you. You do not have to pay anything to get it back, even if it has been sold to someone who was not aware of it being stolen.

The person who bought the stolen car needs to get the money back from the seller.

It is common sense really.
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Old 01.10.2016, 23:23
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Re: Stolen car story

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I keep a blurry photocopy in the car, printed on pink colored paper so not even the dimmest of thieves or car buyers could think it was an original. If I am ever stopped, the police can wait until I fetch the original.
I don't even bother with a copy. I'll pay the fine.

The only carte Gris I carry is the one for my motorcycle and I only carry that because I have to carry the learn's permit which is paper and the same size as the carte Gris.
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Or you could apply for a Halterwechsel verboten remark for each of them, it costs about 50 Fr.
And that means what ?
(It's the ENGLISH forum. Please provide translation of foreign words so everyone gets the benefit of you knowledge.)
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Old 01.10.2016, 23:52
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Re: Stolen car story

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If your car is stolen, and the police find it, then it will be returned to you. You do not have to pay anything to get it back, even if it has been sold to someone who was not aware of it being stolen.

The person who bought the stolen car needs to get the money back from the seller.

It is common sense really.
Usually, but not always. This situation is governed by Art. 934 of Zivilgesetzbuch: there's a 5 year limit and it makes an exception for a buyer acting in good faith and buying from a dealer. If that happened, you owe the buy price to the buyer and would have to go after the dealer yourself.

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And that means what ?
Change of car holder forbidden.

Holder is the person responsible for the car and only he is mentioned on car's registration document. It can be a different person from the actual owner and authorities might never even know.

Without that remark, Strassenverkehrsamts happily change the holder to whoever brings them the original document without any questions!

During a sale the new owner should normally become the new holder too. And if there's that remark, it's a problem, a red flag to any buyer. The remark would have to be first revoked by whoever made it, then the sale can proceed.
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Old 02.10.2016, 08:45
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Re: Stolen car story

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When buying from a garage, a good faith buyer is protected by Art. 934 ZGB. The original owner can get the car back but has to compensate the buyer. I don't think the garage (or anyone else) enjoys that protection when buying from a private person.
And that link in English. https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...042/index.html. Different from the UK, where it is up to the person who bought the stolen car to get restitution from the seller.

What's the law in Switzerland regarding receiving stolen goods?
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Old 02.10.2016, 09:32
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Re: Stolen car story

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Which for 12 means CHF 600!

Tom
If you own 12 cars then you can easily afford this amount
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Old 02.10.2016, 09:34
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Re: Stolen car story

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If you own 12 cars then you can easily afford this amount
You must have been living under a rock if you think they're all cars.

I think Tom may have mentioned once or twice on here that he has motorbikes.
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Old 02.10.2016, 10:56
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Re: Stolen car story

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You must have been living under a rock if you think they're all cars.

I think Tom may have mentioned once or twice on here that he has motorbikes.
Constantly at every single opportunity
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