There Is Some Honor Among Thieves

Just don’t call it “burglary”, though; think of it more as a “warrantless search”

(CNN) — A central California man has been arrested for possession of child pornography, thanks to a tip from burglars who robbed the man’s property, authorities said.

Last month, a juvenile and a 19-year-old illegally accessed the property of Kraig Stockard, 54, of Delhi, California, according to a statement from Deputy Tom MacKenzie of the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. They broke into Stockard’s barn and stole approximately 50 CDs they believed were blank.

Stockard filed a police report on the incident on September 12, according to MacKenzie.

But the young people who stole the CDs were in for a surprise. When they began putting the discs into their computer, they discovered that some of them contained pornographic images of children, the statement said.

Despite having obtained the CDs under decidedly shady circumstances, the pair decided to report Stockard to the police.

The kiddie porner is a total scumbag, of course, but the only way that I see this holding up is that he reported the stolen material to the police, so if they “recovered” it there is reasonable cause to look at it to ensure that it is his. Otherwise I don’t see how the warrant the police subsequently got to search his property is legal.

8 Responses to “There Is Some Honor Among Thieves”

  1. Alice says:

    IANAL, but… I think the police warrant and the resulting evidence is legal because the original evidence supporting it was not obtained by either the police or persons acting as agents of the police. The burglars clearly were neither.

  2. JeffS says:

    Not to mention, the simple act of publishing this article paints Mr. Stockard as a pervert. I do not support fabricated smears as a tool of justice, but if the police and media have their facts in hand, well, that’s a different matter………

  3. Alice says:

    And just to say it, I’ve been reading your blog for years and years, having discovered it via Tim Blair about 3 blog domain/versions ago. When was that, around 2005, 2004? Love your and THSs posts- even if I’ve never quite gotten around to commenting before. I’m just shy …

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    Oh gosh, now you’re making me blush!

    And I haven’t even opened a bottle of wine yet!

    We started this in Feb of 2005, after annoying our dear friend Tim for a few years. Your memory is spot-on.

  5. Greg Newson says:

    I don’t believe cops say anymore.They are borderline criminals.I don’t believe the story at all.
    Where I live a cop said he was bitten by a rat in a mivie theater,while watching a movie.He got a 200 hundred settlement.Hundreds of thousannds of customers attended the theater during that period-no problem-But, a cop sues for a Rat??
    They’re criminals..

  6. Jim - PRS says:

    Based on the facts in the post, Alice has it right. The report could provide probably cause for a search warrant. Besides, mere possession of child porn is a crime in and of itself, making the warrant a no-brainer.

  7. nightfly says:

    The worst scum of the jails have zero tolerance for crimes like these… If this guy gets time for it, it’s going to be bad for him.

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