Why you should never return lost property in person

A man who returned a lost cellphone was charged with theft by cops. The rationale: because he took it home first rather than instantly handing it in, he had stolen it. They got him because he returned it, in person, a day later, providing his name, just like criminals do.

Two weeks ago, Conkling went to the Subway near 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue to get a sandwich during his lunch break. As he got out of the car, he told 41 Action News he found a cracked iPhone lying on the ground.

“It was beat up and destroyed,” he said. “I didn’t think it would work. I thought I would take a look at it when I got off work to see who it belonged to.” …

There is no law requiring a person to return a found item within a certain amount of time. However, Overland Park police told 41 Action News Conkling should have brought it into the Subway immediately after finding the phone.

The case was dropped, but only after the local TV station made a fuss.

The problem with turning in lost property is that it’s not only talking to the cops, you’re bringing them evidence against you.

Just find out who it belongs to and get it back to them anonymously. Or maybe just throw their $1000 anxiety box in a trashcan and not have to deal with any of this nonsense at all.