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To think that I can track this person down?

(45 Posts)
jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:26:01

Right, to cut a long story short, a few month ago a group of idiots damaged something of mine beyond repair. I had pretty much given up on finding out who it was, but over the weekend I was given the name and description of a dog belonging to one of them. I was also told they live in my town (very small town, fortunately). Am I being unreasonble to think that if I ask enough people I will find them eventually? Or is there a better way to go about this? Help!

Nixea Tue 05-Jul-11 12:27:24

Are the police involved? If so why not just pass on the information. If they damaged something and just ran off then I'm guessing they're not very likely to be reasonable if/when you confront them about it either.

purplepidjin Tue 05-Jul-11 12:28:58

What do you plan on doing when you find out who it was?

Tchootnika Tue 05-Jul-11 12:30:33

You'll probably find out who they are.... but if damage was done several months ago, it's less likely that you'll have much joy being compensated for it. If they haven't offered compensation, and it's going to be hard after time's passed to show they caused damage, then it's hard (for me, at least - <dumbass emoticon> ?) to see how you could proceed on this one.

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:32:36

The police won't bother taking the time to track it down, I wouldn't expect them to, it simply isn't worth enought to anyone but me. If I find them I will report them, obviously (incident already logged) but my main intention is to bill them for the damage, then resort to the small claims court if they refuse. It wasn't quite as simple as damaging something and running off, more a group of 'youths' getting tanked up and doing something over the course of a whole evening (hence why people saw them).

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:34:31

The thing is, tchootnika, I had no idea till this weekend how to go about finding them. I suspect their parents have no idea what went on and am banking on there being sufficient 'embarrassment factor' when I confront them (as at the time I reckon they were pissed and not thinking about it).

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:35:29

Re. the time passed- it is only a few months and I now have a few witnesses. I'm quite prepared to take them to court if they are reluctant.

Tchootnika Tue 05-Jul-11 12:38:20

Hmmm... possibly worth a try, if you think threat of small claims court will do the job.
Probably less of a goer if
(a) evidence against them is weak; and/or
(b) even if court finds in your favour, you're likely to need to rely on bailiffs etc. after judgment, as this can (and often does) just end up in more time/effort/expense on your part - without ever getting compensation.
Sorry if this sounds negative.

Tchootnika Tue 05-Jul-11 12:38:59

Sorry - x-post...

Tchootnika Tue 05-Jul-11 12:40:58

Threat of embarrassment should never be under estimated, though!

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:43:09

In some ways, the money is almost secondary- I'd quite like everyone in the area to know it was them, and I'd also like them to know how stupid it was and what other damage could easily have resulted from it. The evidence is not particularly weak in that they were seen there at the time by at least three people! I did wonder whether if i find them it is ok to go round and say ''this is the bill, either pay it or I'll see you in court'' or whether I should mention police etc. My ideal resolution would be an apology and some compensation- but first I need to find where the owner lives! Plus the added complication that there were 5 of them, not just the owner. Thank you for your ideas it is good to get a view from someone uninvolved!

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:43:48

Yes, especially in a small town! (X-post again lol!)

HellAtWork Tue 05-Jul-11 12:51:07

YABU.<Dons deerstalker, searches erratically for opium pipe> Do you know what breed of dog it is? Can you print off a photo of that type of breed to show people when you are asking if they know the name of the owner?

Alternatively (but this will blow your cover and consequences need to be considered carefully) you get a cheapie sim card (for new disposable mobile no), make a poster with the photo of the dog, answers to X name, offer a reward for information on dog's whereabouts.....(don't say it is your lost dog, but I'd bet a lot of people would infer that from the poster)

You will need a valid address to serve the claim form on and you need to ensure your witnesses are happy to give evidence in court. Have they written down what they saw? Get them to do that immediately and date and sign it - better still get them to email it to themselves or post it to themselves so they have a dated (closer to incident the better in terms of strength of evidence) account.

purplepidjin Tue 05-Jul-11 12:53:21

It sounds reasonable enough, but make sure you know exactly what potential consequences you could unleash.

Do they have the same outlook on things as you? If they're not, is there a possibility that they will become aggressive? Target you? Harrass you?

I came in for a bit of harrassment because my now thankfully ex neighbours were dealing drugs. It's not fun when there's a bunch of 20 or so people chucking bricks and threats around, nor when your house is smashed into at 3am. I would love to track the down the scrotes who did that one (one of them got 6months, one got off scot free, I've had PTSD for over 18 months...) but not sure I could handle more "consequences"

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:55:10

Hi Hell, yes i know the breed, not particularly common! There is some variation in the breed i.e. colour and long/short or smooth/rough coated but the photo idea may well be good for non-doggy people!

Hmm, I quite like that idea! I do have a sim card somewhere already too... thanks for that!

Thank you very much for the last bit re. witnesses, very helpful!

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 12:57:50

purplepidgin, as far as I'm aware the person is 20 or less as are her 'mates' who were also responsible. They def don't have the same outlook- or they wouldn't have caused the damage in the first place! Though having said that I think youthful stupidity and alcohol came into it- so I'm hoping they will be very embarrassed to be pulled up on it. It is not as crimially serious as drugs- it is damage to property.

HellAtWork Tue 05-Jul-11 13:26:07

Have you got time-stamped photos of the damage done too?

Get yourself down to Rymans and get yourself a nice new file to put all your 'evidence' ready so you have little to do on your claim except draft it as soon as you know where it needs to go to. Have you looked up the process?

Have you searched FB? Anyone under 20 appears not to operate any privacy on FB. I am just wondering if there is functionality to search people in your local area. Or think of clubs/pubs they might frequent in your small town and see if they have any FB pages you can scour the 'members' list for?

<I am getting far too into this>

www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/making-a-complaint/taking-a-dispute-to-the-small-claims-court/using-the-small-claims-court/

Also in the past I had occasion to speak to several private detective agencies (relative's feckless husband pretending to be self-employed to avoid paying CSA) and they were extremely helpful in terms of ideas and how they would go about doing something so if you don't feel too foolish might be worth picking up the phone to one of them and explaining you need to serve small claims papers on someone and the only lead is their dog! (am sure there's a joke in there somewhere). Nothing ventured nothing gained!

From memory don't think you need residential address for serving papers, can be work address but not sure how felxible this is. Am searching.

purplepidjin Tue 05-Jul-11 13:34:13

I'm not saying it is, it's just that it never occured to me that it would happen simply for living next door to people who knew people who would do that. More a warning of what could happen if it went wrong because it did with me wink

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 13:37:10

Yes I have photos. A file sounds a good idea! I haven't looked up the process yet, but will do.
I'll also investigate facebook further, there is somewhere you can put 'location' in and search I believe. Loads of people on there though- needle in a haystack! Perhaps if I could get a group going or something. It is a very small town so no clubs but there are pubs... good idea!
Thank you so much for all your help, the private deytective idea is good, I bet they have a load of ideas up their sleeves!

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 13:37:54

Thank you for the warning purple, I will be careful!!

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 05-Jul-11 13:38:18

YANBU although I need to know details. The devil is in the detail.
Good lucjk.

HellAtWork Tue 05-Jul-11 13:38:42

Has to be under £5k property damage to go through small claims. Is it small enough?

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 13:39:24

Lol, I will happily pm details, kreecher. What would you like to know? I just don't want to be too identifiable on here.

jade80 Tue 05-Jul-11 13:39:46

Yes it is, a max of around £400 I would think.

HellAtWork Tue 05-Jul-11 13:43:17

Oh PM me too please!

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