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ex-employer threw away/ possibly stole my property,

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  • ex-employer threw away/ possibly stole my property,

    evening all just wondering if i could get some advice, long story short my dads last job was at a large main dealership - he was a mechanic, he left due to health issues and unable to keep up with the slaving requirements of modern day main dealers!

    he sort of packed it in about 3 1/2 years ago possibly a bit longer, thankfully he emptied his box and brought all 15k worth of tools home but left his box there due to limited space at home, he said he had a verbal agreement with someone that he could keep it there for as long as he wanted until he decided what to do with it,

    we were repeatedly stating to go and collect the box over the last two years but it turns out years arent as long as you think! and time just slipped away, and unfortunately he recently passed on, im trying to tie up loose ends this was one of them, i called the foreman today and i received a very blunt and indifferent attitude to which he simply stated the top box had been binned because it was of no use to "anyone" - basically my dad removed all the drawers and used them to bring his tools home, so the top box was a shell which he said has been binned,

    however before i could ask about the roll cab - the lower part of the toolbox i just got an ok bye, and got cut off.

    obviously i am fairly annoyed as it not only does cost a fair bit but it does have a sentimental value to it, i believe someone has had the lower box but im not getting anywhere by the looks of it, just hostility and rude arrogant people. i havent spoken to the manager but from the people ive dealt with thus far i dont have high expectations - this is probably one of the largest car dealers in the uk as well!

    just wondering if anyone could offer any assistance,

    Tags: None

  • #2
    I'm sorry to hear you have lost your Dad.

    Sadly, three years is a bit of a stretch, I know time goes by quickly....and they should really have contacted him at least to say "come pick it up or we're ditching it" before getting rid ( just politeness really )

    My other half is a mechanic and he's moved from Garage based to Mobile, so his GIANT tool box is taking up most of the shed now, so can completely understand him having left it there,
    but they are pretty ££ so he should have reclaimed it long ago. Now he's passed on there's not going to be any evidence of what the agreement was ( and it only sounds like a casual agreement to hang on to it for a bit till he found space for it )

    Did your dad take all the drawers out the roll cab too ? ( and have you got them still with the tools in ?) Thinking that if there was any money outstanding with the Tool man ( snap on etc ) they might have had it away a while back if it was intact. Otherwise it may well still be at the garage with another mechanic using it.

    I'll tag des8 for you - there will be something about bailment to do with it, but I think the time scale is going to be too long to do anything about it now, unless you pop to the garage and ask them face to face so you can't get hung up on.

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    • #3
      I'm sorry about your loss, and I understand that the cabinet has sentimental value. Besides, those things can be really expensive. Unfortunately, after 3-4 years, you are expecting an awful lot.

      " he said he had a verbal agreement with someone that he could keep it there for as long as he wanted until he decided what to do with it," Even so. There's a quote often attributed to Sam Goldwyn ...

      If you reckon the roll cab is in use at the garage, you could wander round and see if you can identify it. Do they have a serial number, or how would you know for sure which is your dad's?


      • #4
        thank you and yep i know it has been a fair stretch! i didn't originally realize it had been that long but if they would have contacted him im sure we would have made arrangements to put it in storage, or somewhere else, there wasnt anything owing from memory, its an old signet box and they stopped making them over 15 years ago, he didnt take the drawers out the roll cab but he just emptied the drawers as the roll cab had boxes and cased tools in it which are all at home thankfully.

        i think the roll cab is still there, id be able to identify it, i have called signet and theres no serial number on them but the likelihood of someone else having a red signet roll cab is slim,if they havent changed the locks which i dont think you can i have the keys for it also, if it was snap on then that would be another story but signet boxes are rare to come by,

        im in the trade as well and the large majority are snap on.

        unfortunately i tried that and they wont let me in the workshop...


        • #5
          It might be worth writing a polite letter to the manager in charge of that particular branch, explaining that your late dad's roll cab was left there, and how grateful you'd be to get it back as it has great sentimental value. Say it's a very unusual Signet cabinet and you have the keys still.

          Bear in mind that this probably means taking it away from somebody who's working there, so you may well get a frosty reception. I wouldn't suggest to them that they have done anything wrong, just lay it on thick about how important it is to you.


          • #6
            sorry to hear about your loss.

            so leaving the item with the garage for no consideration created a voluntary bailment.
            the bailee (the garage) becomes strictly liable for the item until it is collected or the bailor (your father ) is told to retake possession
            One would expect the defence to be that the agreement was for the cabinet to be left for a short time, and as it wasn't collected, the owner had not been in contact, and it was old and drawers removed they assumed it was no longer wanted so they disposed of it as they needed the space.Understandable perhaps but they should not dispose of it without first warning your father.

            Your Father's executor could initiate a claim against the bailee for the return of the item or its value.
            However how viable would that be?
            Who agreed the box could be left there?
            If it can't be traced what value does it have (I believe they vary in price new from£100 to over £2000) bearing in mind it is used?
            How would the courts view such a claim?
            Would it be worth all the stress at this time of loss?


            • #7
              Originally posted by des8 View Post
              sorry to hear about your loss.

              so leaving the item with the garage for no consideration created a voluntary bailment.
              the bailee (the garage) becomes strictly liable for the item until it is collected or the bailor (your father ) is told to retake possession
              One would expect the defence to be...
              Wouldn't the defence also include the statement that the garage management did NOT agree to the cabinet being left? The verbal agreement referred to by the OP may well have been given by somebody who did not have the garage's authorisation. Besides which, evidence for the agreement is lacking.


              • #8
                Quite 2222 ....I did ask at the end "Who agreed the box could be left there?"

                If there was no agreement the matter becomes one of involuntary bailment.
                To end that the bailee would need to tell the bailor to collect the item within a set time or it would be disposed off at market price. The proceeds less expenses being kept for the bailor


                • #9
                  Well he mentioned a name but honestly i cannot remember, he's had an extensive career and a few occasional breaks throughout his working life, and obviously he was an old boy and he has done this in the past with his previous jobs left his tools albeit for not as long probably longest was a year and a half, but obviously not in a "main dealership" so think he kept it there in good faith and thought his colleagues at this dealership had the same professional integrity and decency in which he was a part of during his career & it would remain safe until he went to collect, but unfortunately time just went by honestly... it seems like yesterday i was celebrating xmas & new years and here we are again!

                  but if he had received a call or a letter, without a shadow of a doubt he would have told me/ i would have picked it up or he would have collected it and pushed it home if he had to!

                  il be honest its hard cause he didnt have great deal of possessions his tools/ box were essentially only the few things ive inherited, im grateful i have all of his tools, at least 15-20k worth of snap on and specialized equipment if the tools were in there I would have done something incredibly stupid already!

                  it was a fairly big signet box - essentially nla, it must have been around 2-3k possibly back in early 2000's,

                  it is a lot of unnecessary stress you are indeed correct, and im being told by my siblings to just let it go and be grateful for what i have, but I just cant and whats annoyed me further is how the foreman/ staff have spoken to me - just got a very weird vibe off them,

                  however in regards to who agreed it could be left - this is a verbal arrangement between my dad and even if i were to find the person they could easily deny any such arrangement i take it?

                  i may have a picture of it somewhere however which could identify it but i did call signet who stated these types of boxes were rare and they no longer make tool boxes anymore, so if someone has a roll cab and a mismatched top box it is most likely it, and im hoping this is the case and they have some decency in them to give it back... however im not sure i will hold my breath on that...


                  • #10
                    i will attempt to call the manager tomorrow and explain the situation, hopefully they are more professional than those ive spoken to.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by np90 View Post
                      i will attempt to call the manager tomorrow and explain the situation, hopefully they are more professional than those ive spoken to.
                      Good luck with that, and I hope it goes well. I really think it's a matter of playing the sympathy card, and I would not mention any blame of other people. It's possible somebody has started using the cab and then left employment there, taking the cab with them.


                      • #12
                        Unless you can sort this amicably, as suggested by 2222, I would endorse tour siblings' advice and let it go.
                        I think you will have an uphill struggle as you have no value, no witnesses and even no proper description.
                        To continue stressing over it might only sour your memories.


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