Help!? getting ripped off.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Nein-reis, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Nein-reis

    Nein-reis TPF Noob!

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    There is a localy owned Coffee shopp that is known for showcasing and selling local artists work. I get coffee there ALOT, almost daily. The owner contacted me saying he wanted to display and sell some of my work. He wanted alot of black framed 8X10's. I figured awesome... good advertising and could bring in some extra dollars.

    So I printed a bunch of photos, bought some nice frames, dropped a fair amount of money on them. And dropped of my photos with a price and my card for each one. 2 weeks goes by and my photos still havn't been put up, so I ask the owner, and he says that its just been busy and he hasn't had the time and that he will put them up over the weekend.

    To my surprise, monday morning rolls around and the store is CLOSED. Shut down, empty, locked, out of buisness. Grah, its now been 2 weeks since then and I've never herd from the coffee shop owner and have no way of getting my photos back. I have no phone number, address, anything. I contacted the realator in charge of selling the building... he won't give me any info. I tracked down the owners full names on the internet, but I cant find any contact information. What do I do???
     
  2. oldnavy170

    oldnavy170 TPF Noob!

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    Wow that really sucks. Sounds like you might never get your photos back.
     
  3. Kaye68

    Kaye68 TPF Noob!

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    Well if the money you have invested is worth a call to the law that is what I would do. Have them file a report and see what happens. If anything they could find out who this guy is and possibly were to find him, info that the realator would not give to you.

    You may not be the only one and it is considered stealing.

    Good luck and I hope you get your photos back.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yep if he was holding them on consignment for you, the act of taking them is just plain theft. Selling them fraud. The realtor will not easily give you that information without a legal document to back you up.

    A quick call to the police should make this process painless.
     
  5. Nein-reis

    Nein-reis TPF Noob!

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    Great, so the law is on my side on this.

    I used: https://secure.utah.gov/bes/action/index ...to find the home address associated with the buisness. Do you think it would be better to give the info to the police, or just show up and demand my property?
     
  6. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    Difficult to say, it sort of depends on previous presidense. The law might say one thing, but previous case presidense might say something different. Legal issues are never clear cut. I'd do a lot of prep work before I'd go in on my own, but most times that is the best way.

    I think that this must be one of the worst situation one can get in to, and I hope that it works out for you. Best of luck, and please keep us posted on how this turns out.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you can call then do that first. It may be that he had to clear out fast and doesn't want to keep your photos beyond the fact that he didn't want to leave them there.

    If that doesn't work or he wont accept/return your call, nuke him with the cops.

    $0.02
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    If he's lost his business, your pictures are way down the list of his problems - and would be even further down the list of concerns of the police. THey would probably decline to do anything because, even though this is a crime to you, they would see it as very small potatoes and leave it to the civil courts to decide.

    I would send him a friendly registered letter, expressing your concern that he lost the business and asking, in a friendly way, for the return of your pictures. Make it easy for him to respond.

    If no response, then follow up with a letter, asking again, but mentioning small claims court.

    If still no response, then file in small claims court.
     
  9. BEvaristo

    BEvaristo TPF Noob!

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    I concur. Make sure you keep copies of the letters and on the letter itself, document the Registered Mail document number for proof that it was sent to him. Once you receive the green card back showing it was delivered, keep it with a copy of the letter. Do this with each piece of mail you send to him so if you do have to file in Small Claims Court, you can show the Judge that you have made attempts to get your property back and that the owner did in fact receive the letters, but has failed to respond back to you.

    I would suggest you don't show up at his door demanding the property back. I know that's what you want to do, and I would too, but those types of meetings can turn bad.

    Good luck.
     
  10. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I'm actually afraid to ask if you have a receipt for the pictures.
    If not, you have a much harder task because then you'll have to show that he got the pictures and that the pictures hung on the wall were yours.

    My guess is that your total recovery in court would be your actual out-of-pocket expenses for printing/framing because the pictures have no established value.
     
  11. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    If you can call him then do so first.
    If nothing happens after that I would definatley be filing a police report. However... because you did 'give' (not saying you gave them to him to keep for ever for free.. ) or lent them to him it could be difficult.
    I know in Canada if you borrow something to someone and they then steal it.. it's not really stealing.
    They may be willing to try and talk to him at least.
    I live in a very small town and the cops here know me and are always asking about my photography so if it happened to me they'd be all over it.. However, in a large city it's least of their worries really.


    Good luck.
     
  12. Syndac

    Syndac TPF Noob!

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    Um, no.

    Depending on the amount spent and the value you feel the photos are worth, I'd definately give the police a call.
     

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