What happens if I find money that is not mine?

Posted: 01 March 2023

If you find money or other property in a public place and did not see where it came from or who had dropped it, you should take it into your local police station. When you arrive, you are to give the money or other property to the officer at the front desk. They will then register the property and take your details for their logging system.

money image

What happens if the money is not claimed

After a period of time (approximately six weeks), if no one has claimed the property or money, then you are legally entitled to claim it. You then have the opportunity to pick this property or money up from the police station and claim them as your own.

However, if you choose to keep the money or property after finding it in the public place, this fulfils the definition of the offence of Theft under section 1 of the Theft Act 1968. The definition is “a person is guilty of Theft if they dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”.

The elements broken down are as follows:

Appropriation – “taking the money or property”.

Dishonesty – “Taking possession of the property or money and believing that you have a legal right to deprive others of it”.

Permanently Depriving – “Keeping the money or property on your possession and keeping it without making the effort to find the owner or give the property back”.


Therefore, in summary if you find any property or money in a public place and they are not owned by you, you must hand it in. Finders is not always keepers.

If you have queries, please contact our criminal defence solicitors call  01245 493959  or email .

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