Judith lost her camera in Hawaii while on vacation and managed to track it down – a couple from Canada had reported it found and a Hawaiian park ranger gave Judith their details. In short, when Judith called the couple, they said this:
“we have a bit of a situation. You see, my nine year old son found your camera, and we wanted to show him to do the right thing, so we called, but now he’s been using it for a week and he really loves it and we can’t bear to take it from him.”</p>
</em>I’m still shaking my head in stupifaction. But it gets worse. Judith, wanting at the very least to have her photographs back, strikes a deal with the couple – they agree to send her the memory cards. Judith ends up getting a CD in the mail with her images on it and a note that says:
“Enclosed are some CDs with your images on them. We need the memory cards to operate the camera properly.”</p>
</em>I respect Judith for wanting to turn the other cheek initially and strike a deal, but I’d be talking to lawyers after my first conversation with these people. Both parties have agreed that the property belongs to Judith, yet one party refuses to relinquish the property.
A lot of people are suggesting that she publish the names and addresses of these twisted people, but that’d be a bad idea. There’s a reason in the US that we don’t allow mobs of people to decide the fate of those who commit wrongs – people tend to get out of hand. Combine the anonymity of the Internet with mob justice and these, albeit morally irreprehensible, people will be victimized far beyond what they deserve.
My advice – file a police report, issue a small claims court suit, and hire a lawyer. Perhaps seeing the justice system of both the United States and Canada in action will teach the boy a far more valuable lesson about what is right and wrong than his parents seem to have the guts to do.