What legal steps can I take if my landlord stole my high definition camera? 7 Answers as of April 04, 2014

I left my camera on my desk on Saturday, and then left my house to run some errands. While I was gone my landlord unexpectedly came over to show the apartment to two different groups. I only know this because my two roommates saw the groups, not because he contacted us to let us know. It wasn't until Sunday around noon that I had noticed my camera was missing off of my desk. I believe that my landlord stole it because this is not the first piece of technology that has gone missing in my house on his watch. I filed a police report, but I really don't know what else to do. This was an expensive camera inside of a camera bag so the total equipment is about $900. What steps should I take?

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You have filed the report. You might want to check local pawnshops to see if the camera is there. Also check craigslist.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/4/2014
Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
Does not sound like you have any proof that the landlord wanted his yes camera. It could also been one of your roommates with access.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/3/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Your problem is that it could have been one of the people from the two separate groups or it could have been a roommate. Hopefully you had renter's insurance. You might make a claim on the landlord and he could ask his insurance to cover it.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/3/2014
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Even by your statement, you don't know with certainty that it was your landlord. If you sue him, you have the burden of proving that he stole it. If you left your camera on an outside porch, anyone could have taken it. Sounds like you have insufficient evidence. Without more, sadly, it's an expensive lesson for you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/3/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Unless you have proof who stole it (did your roommates have access also or could the people he was showing it to have stolen it?) you can do very little.. this is what insurance is for. I would contact the landlord in writing and tell him that you are missing expensive items after he showed the apartment and that he should not be showing it unless accompanied by on of your roommates or you personally.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/3/2014
    Harper Law Offices, Inc. P.S.
    Harper Law Offices, Inc. P.S. | Joseph T. G. Harper
    You could file suit for conversion, but I think you will have a tough go of it. The primary issue you will face is proof. Conversion, or theft, requires that you prove the landlord intended to deprive you of the property and did so. Your landlord may blame your roommates, or the people who viewed the unit. Certainly the landlord was required to provide you proper notice under the landlord tenant act, but that violation does not do anymore than circumstantially prove your claim that he stole your camera. It is just as plausible that your roommates took the camera and used this opportunity to blame the landlord. Unless you find your landlord in actual possession, or have a direct witness to the theft, you are probably out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/3/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If you have any proof, you can take him to small claims.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/3/2014
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