Jeff Bates

Jeff Bates

DEAR JEFF: While on vacation in Mexico, I bought a used Rolex watch from a pawn shop. Upon returning home, I sent it to Rolex to be serviced. I got a letter from Rolex informing me the watch was reported as stolen in 2002, but for $500 they will release it to me. Can they do this? Doesn’t it matter that I bought it from a pawn shop? Signed, “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain”

Dear “Haven’t Got Time”: You are what is referred to in the law as a “good faith purchaser for value.” Unfortunately, you are also out of luck. Texas law states that even a good faith purchaser of stolen property must turn the property over to the original owner. This applies no matter how innocently the purchaser acquires the property.

Jeffrey Bates is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but is not board certified in any area of specialty by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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To submit a question, send it via email to JeffreyPBates@aol.com, or via regular mail to Ask the Lawyer, 101 S. First St., Lufkin 75901, or call 639-2900.