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Law on abandoned cars?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by noxided, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    drove 6000 miles last week through Texas, Kansas, Nebraska. Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

    Found a lot of abandoned cars and trucks.

    Some in ditches, some in fields and some by old abandoned houses.

    How can I save these cars, legally? I have to go through weigh stations with my truck and trailer.
  2. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    from ruskin, fl

    You should consider that there is no un-owned land anywhere. Then it should be clear that the property sitting on it is indeed owned. Steal that property at your own risk. Untended neglected property is not free for the taking.
  3. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,917


    ^^^ Agreed! Someone owns it!!

    Take a section at a time and get the land owners name and call them up, see if they are for sale!
  4. I just posted a similar thread not too long ago about this. Long story short i contacted the owner of the property doing a quick county record search and ended up with the car. So best advice i got was to find the property owner and contact them before doing anything.

  5. I think you " saw" them instead of "found" them.
    Did you "find" a bunch of Cadillacs buried nose down too.
  6. Are you wanting to know the laws of obtaining the vehicles or the moral ethics involved?
  7. You might want to check into the gun laws in each State before you go stealing someone's property.
  8. Hate to brag, but I am not a lawyer.
  9. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    Looking at the bottom of a lake, makes your find fair game. Otherwise do a title search.

    I had a friend loose an old truck just that way.
  10. I found those once, I am sure that someone must have lost them. Just to make sure that I got my reward I put my name on one of them. :D

    Everything belongs to someone. The salvage laws vaery from one state to the next and more often then not once you find something that you are salvaging the rightful owner still has claim to it for X amount of time.
  11. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145


    We store some parts cars at a property that my son owns. Old barns that look like no one has been there in 40 years But it sure isn't abandoned of forgotten property and I would hope someone would ask me before they "saved" any of the abandoned cars.
  12. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562


    If they are on BLM land, sometimes the BLM will pay you to haul them off.
  13. Buzzard II
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 354

    Buzzard II

    I agree with OneFineComet. Do your research, find out who owns the property, and then contact them. You may get lucky. If you don't heed this advice, you may find out what rock salt coming out of a shotgun feels like. Good luck! Bob
  14. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    In some states there is a procedure for getting a title for an abandoned vehicle. But as was already pointed out, the law doesn't allow you to steal something "abandoned". I have bought a few cars and bikes with no title. Vehicles reported stolen are carried on a database for a long time. Before buying something without a title I have the police run the VIN to be sure it's not stolen.
  15. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    You won't find no rock salt around here. The majority of Texas is privately owned. Just knock on doors and have cash in hand. The majority of the time you can leave with the car.
  16. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 7,917


    let me know what you find. i'll sell em to you.
  17. GrizzGang
    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 149

    from D/FW

    Just remember it's all in the approach .
  18. You know pisses my Dad of more than anything?
    My nephew will come out of the basement with something of his an say
    “look what I found"
  19. FFFFrank
    Joined: Aug 15, 2012
    Posts: 98


    I got into a sticky situation because I parked an untitled truck on my neighbors property. They had abandoned the house and after mowing the grass for 3 years, I decided to park my truck in their driveway. A new guy bought the house and thought he also "bought" the truck. When he showed up and found it in my driveway, he called the cops and reported it stolen.

    Luckily, Johnny Law understood my side of the story and told the guy to pound sand. Now the new neighbor just gets to see me glare at him every time I drive by. And this was over a $500 truck.
  20. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    Stop and knock on some doors. That is how I aquire most of what I buy. People who do not understand or respect ownership are the people that cause problems for the rest of us including me ( had alot stolen in the last few years). As far as the DOT and transport laws I think a notorized "Bill of Sale " will cover most of that. Stop on in next time you venture this far North, everything I own other than my delivery sedan, Texaco sign and KRW tools is for sale.
  21. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    DITTO, "FIND THE OWNER" ! ! ! In some places, if the owner finds you on their property,... Their "12 ga. dog" can bark , with a nasty bite.

    Just sayin'........

  22. mike in tucson
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 506

    mike in tucson
    from Tucson

    With the price of scrap today, taking a car can get you into felony territory pretty quickly......
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,192


    50 years ago the neighbor gave me a 27 T roadster body that I spotted in some cattails on his place when I was hunting over there. He didn't mind me hunting because all he had to do was call my grandparents if I did something he didn't like but after laughing at me for wanting that old pile of rust he gave it to me when I asked to buy it.

    Find the owner, offer to buy and be prepared to give at least scrap price but you might get lucky as often as not or get run off because they don't want to sell it.

    On blm land the old cars and trucks are truly abandoned if they weren't stolen first but you can probably get written permission to haul one out pretty easy.
  24. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    Columbus/Cortez/Magellan all found places that had folks living there for thousands of years. Knock on their door and tellem you found it and would like a chance to buy it first. Offer enough and theyll probably laugh and sell it to you. A laugh allways makes it easier. I approached a fellow once and asked him if he knew the truck was back there. After realizing I was joshin him he was a great guy and I got a 54 F-100 that ran. Dont knock, the next sound you hear,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
  25. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    ok let me make this clear. Im not looking to steal anything.

    I did find several cars on my trip, in ravines creeks and ditches.

    I can not knock on most of the doors because the houses may fall down on me or i would need a chain saw to get to the house.

    I was just wanting to know if there are some sort of abandondment laws.

    Ive heard of many but not sure if they are true and are not related to this subject.
  26. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    The cars have to be on someone's land. Find a address and look up the tax records to find a name
  27. 49F1Jeff
    Joined: Oct 24, 2011
    Posts: 184

    from Oregon

    As others said, all land belongs to someone, even ditches and ravines. I can tell you what would happen if someone "found" some of the old cars my wife's dad has out on his property in the boonies. He is crazy enough to track 'em down and he would kill 'em without question.

    Your idea of abandoned is probably different than the land owner's definition. ;)
  28. When i found my 28 rpu it was in a bush in the middle of a field with trees growing between the rails. It took about 3 hrs to locate the owner of the property and once talking to him for awhile i asked him about the rpu and that i could use it for parts. He was happy to give it to me. The rest is history. I guess i lied about the parts thing as i built the truck. That was in 1975 and i know things have changed.
  29. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    My uncle use to take me with him to look for cars when I was a kid. From what I have learned from him you can usually tell from looking at the property and tell weather they will sell or not. He told me if it's mowed around they won't sell it and if the place is a shit hole they won't or they want to much. The ones that will are the ones that drove the car out and parked it and left it. As for creeks and water ways the rules in Texas are simple. If its a small creek or water shed stay out. If its a river you can go in it but stay within the banks of it.
  30. homeslice
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 27


    without question, the laws regarding ownership or whether a car is truly "abandoned" will be dictated by the laws of each state. having said that, if the car sits on private property, i cannot imagine it will meet the definition of "abandoned" property - to be distinguished from neglected proeperty. like others said, chase down the address of the property, do a title search, get the contact info of the owner, and start throwing some green their way. good luck.

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