Larinda's "Missing" Dress

Joe

Well-Known Member
Hate to rain on everyone's parade here but even if you find the dress the cop's aren't going to do anything. You'll never be able to prove ownership - a dress isn't like a car or a stolen check or something with a verifiable id that can be traced. Even a photo wouldn't be conclusive proof of ownership. The only reason they even take reports on stuff like this is so you can send them to your insurance company. Unless you were able to uncover some major "racket" with a pattern of behavior and consisting of large amount of money (large to cop's not large to us) they just aren't going to put any man hours into it. It's a non-violent crime and just not that big a deal for them. I've worked in the legal field for years - stuff like this isn't even on their radar. Don't waste Karma points sweating over this. The best thing that can happen is that people realize the dance world is changing and we have to change our behavior with it. It sucks but its real. Move on.
Three letters.

DNA.

:D
 
Aren't DNA tests expensive? I doubt they are going to do a DNA test on a dress when there are much more important things to test like samples from rapes and murders. It is really sad that the dress was stolen, but there are bigger priorities to the law enforcement agencies than a dress.
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
Don't disagree that there are more serious crimes, but think it mighty suspicious that the hotel has video of the area where Larinda was and refuses to show it to her... hopefully the police can get a bit more cooperation out of them than that!
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't foresee criminal charges happening here. Maybe a small claims court case? But I think the bigger result would be that if it's someone around the dance community to blame, and the perpetrator is identified, well, then the comps would know who to stop at the door.:)
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
If someone stole $3000 cash... would there be not be criminal charges... something better for the police to do. How about a $3K car. How about a diamond ring. How about a your VCR, TV, DVD Player, Laptop and Stereo out of your living room.

We are not talking about a jacket or a pair of shoes... We are talking about a $3K item. It doesn't matter if it is a recreational item or not.

It is not a small claims case. It is a Felony Criminal Charge. It is stealing.
 

ChaChaMama

Well-Known Member
I agree with Larinda. If the perpetrator is caught, he/she will be prosecuted.

Also, though smalls claims court goes up to $5000 in Maryland, the case of the stolen dress does not fit my interpretation of the law at all: it's criminal and it involves the recovery of property rather than just cash:

http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/civil/dccv01br.html

I believe small claims is more for things like "You ran over my rhodendrons with your lawn mower and you have to pay $300 for the plants and the labor to replace them" or "My moving man dragged a heavy bookshelf across a hardwood floor and did damage that cost $1500 to repair."
 
Don't disagree that there are more serious crimes, but think it mighty suspicious that the hotel has video of the area where Larinda was and refuses to show it to her... hopefully the police can get a bit more cooperation out of them than that!
Didn't see the part that they were refusing to let her see video surveillance. Hotel Security should at least review it if she is not allowed to see it herself. My boyfriend works in hotel security at a casino. When someone has a complaint of a stolen item, the hotel security always reviews surveillance right off the bat to see if the person is making a legitimate claim.

Don't know if you have already done this (there are many pages on this thread and I have only read through about half) but if hotel security is refusing to review the footage, I would go right to their corporate offices and complain to the Director of Security there. Hotels are usually big on customer service. If corporate finds out that one of their hotels is not doing all that they can to help a guest, they will more than likely assist you.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
If someone stole $3000 cash... would there be not be criminal charges... something better for the police to do. How about a $3K car. How about a diamond ring. How about a your VCR, TV, DVD Player, Laptop and Stereo out of your living room.

We are not talking about a jacket or a pair of shoes... We are talking about a $3K item. It doesn't matter if it is a recreational item or not.

It is not a small claims case. It is a Felony Criminal Charge. It is stealing.
If the thief were caught red handed, probably. But if the police have to put any effort into it, probably not. In most municipalities, there's the police that write tickets (and make money for the department/municipality) and the police that investigate violent crimes like rape and murder. With budget limitations, I guess I'm glad that they're picking rape and murder over theft, but it's still crappy. If everything were stolen out of my living room, a report would be filed for insurance purposes, and that's about it. Heck, my neighbor didn't go to jail for the crime spree he was on, while he was supposed to be on house arrest, that there were witnesses to including myself, until he hit a guy over the head with a baseball bat. And he was right back out on the street that night. My sister's purse was stolen, the thief wrote checks to pay for a pizza, so they had her address, and the thief's own father reported her to the police after he found out, nothing done.
In a perfect world, for a stolen dance costume, criminal charges would be filed. In this world, they should be filed. I'm just doubting that they will be filed.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
Those GPS things are ending up everywhere. Saw an article debating the merits of implanting them in people with Alzheimer's. How expensive are they? Like are they something you can not just use to keep up with your gowns pre-sale, but could they be an added benefit, like by a dressgirl gown and get free GPS? Then if after sale, if a person has their gown stolen, they can call you up and you hunt it down for them?
 
I think you mean RFID to identify ownership.

GPS is a satellite positioning system. It will tell the dress where it is on the planet (if it's outdoors), but GPS by itself can't tell you where the dress is - you'd need a device that included not only the GPS receiver, but also a transmitter so it could phone home, and service for that...

RFID tags are getting small enough to survive cursory inspection. GPS + transmitter devices are big enough to find.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
So kind of like microchipping your pet? Cool. Ballroom costuming going high tech. These ain't your daddy's neon feathers anymore baby!
 
you are correct. But RFID means little to most people.

And no, you won't be able to find the dress in someone's closet, but you can have it identified. And in this world, where people are selling these stolen gowns, we are going to need that technology. Plus its a major deterrent.
 
And no, you won't be able to find the dress in someone's closet, but you can have it identified. And in this world, where people are selling these stolen gowns, we are going to need that technology. Plus its a major deterrent.
How about the maker labeling the bodysuit with a sharpie (test for color fastness on scraps of course)

Seems maker / serial number would prove as much as an RFID tag could, unless you plan to conceal a long range reader in the on-deck-area to get evidence without hands-on examination.
 
Agree with wooh said. Barring have some really well connected lawyers, unfortunately most one can do is to file a police report, but then it is really up to the police department and the prosecutor to decide if they want to investigate and pursue criminal charges. It's unfortunate that due to lack of manpower or whatever they (the prosecutors especially) seem only interested in violent crimes, but that seems just how things are. Coincidentally like wooh my sister also had her purse stolen, in this case amazingly the thief decided to take one of her checks, signed it to himself and deposited into his own bank account, so 3 days later my sister got a nice check image with his name and bank account # on it (which says a lot about the intelligence of thieves, but that's another matter). A police report was filed complete with all this information and loads of evidence courtesy of the thief...this was about 5 months ago, my sister has went back to check periodically, and mind you check forgery IS a felony...but it's just sitting on the officer's desk, and all she has been getting is "oh we'll get back to you". So it looks like nothing will be done and I've adviced her to maybe sue the guy in small claims.

I'm sure many of the thieves know this and that is the reason why they can be so brazen. Best deterrent, besides tagging the costumes or being able to catch them in the act of course, perhaps is to use the fact that ballroom is a very small circle, and to expose and shame them if they're caught.
 

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