No key = stolen? - ATVConnection.com ATV Enthusiast Community



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Old 11-15-2016, 01:40 AM
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Default No key = stolen?

Hi all,

I'm not horribly familiar with ATVs, other than general mechanics. I know little or nothing about the community or common practices among owners.

Here's my question:

I have an assigned client (15 year old male) who bought a Yamaha ATV off of a website for $400. Seller delivers it on a truck. No bill of sale, title, or key. Suspicious? Certainly.

Turns out it was stolen, of course. He gets charged with receiving stolen property. The owner has a security video showing the theft. However, the owner also doesn't have a title. The VIN shows the registered owner as a third party who hasn't responded to police inquiries.

Long story short, my client claims that many ATVs can be started without keys, and thus not receiving a key at the time of sale is 'not necessarily' reasonable cause to believe that the ATV is stolen. My research shows that this only happens when the ATV has been hot wired, and thus his argument won't hold water.

So I'm asking. If you were offered an ATV without a key, and the seller stated that the key had been lost, would you purchase? Is it common for ATVs to be started without keys, hot wired or not?

Thanks in advance for your time
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Old 11-15-2016, 02:52 AM
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Beside being only 15 and probably not knowledgeable on sales like this I would never accept one without visible proof/guarantee of a clean title or mso before hand.Yes plenty of people lose keys and plenty of thieves either hot wire the ignition or buy a new switch.Even most lock smiths can make a key for it if they have the proper blanks.Looks like as it stands he's in limbo until the original owner responds if ever.Even the second owner has more rights on this because of the security video of it being stolen or if he at least has a bill of sale or the serial number of the stolen atv on record with authorities.This could be a hard lesson on the young man in the future.
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Old 11-15-2016, 03:38 AM
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Sounds like a shady deal all around. It sounds like the client was set up to receive stolen property. He was naive and thought he was getting a good deal. Not dealing with the owner directly is a red flag. No key is another. And no title is the hat trick on a bad deal.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:28 AM
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Did he happen to keep a copy of the ad?
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:22 AM
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You have to be 18 to legally enter into a contract. it's easy to replace the ignition switch/key, just buy from the dealer.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:26 PM
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Yes legally needs to be 18,but he's been charged with receiving stolen property and in most states he can be charged at that age or even younger. That's why he's retained a lawyer. Kid is loosing on two fronts. 400 bucks essentially gone and having to deal with a legal issue that possibly can cost way more than that to get out of. An example had one of my sons' so called "friends" break into my house and stole a couple guns from my cabinet. It so happened that I found one at the Mesquite gun show,found out where the man got it,a pawn shop in Garland tx. The kid was stupid enough to use his own name and the pawn shop was negligent on taking in rifles from a minor. Gave this info to the detective on the case and the 14 year old couldn't be charged with theft,but was charged with receiving stolen property. Don't know what happened to him on this,but I at least got one of my rifles back. They're all in a strong safe now.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:38 AM
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yes as stated above lots of people loose their keys. Iv bought several without keys. But the no title would have thrown up a red flag. Should have at least ran the VIN before buying to make sure it was not stolen. But unfortunately the excitement of buying a atv probably over road his common sense.
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