Personal Items Found Inside Trade-In Vehicles

The association received a call from a dealer, asking what to do about personal property that was left inside a vehicle that the dealer accepted as a trade. What made this question interesting was the fact that the personal property included an illegal item. 

In nearly all circumstances, a dealer is well within their rights to report any illicit items found inside of a vehicle to law enforcement. While there is understandable concern that reporting this might violate a customer's privacy, that concern is outweighed by the dealer's interest in protecting themselves from any liability associated with the illicit item.

If a dealer finds drugs, drug paraphernalia, anything that appears to be evidence of a crime, then it is a good idea to notify law enforcement immediately. A dealer will have a far bigger problem on their hands if anyone discovered such items on the dealer's property and the dealer was forced to explain that the contraband does not belong to them. 


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