I had moved out of shared house with roommates and now live in another shared house with other roommates. Today a police officer came to the door asking to speak to me. The conversation started off strangely. At first he said it’s good I admitted who I was. Then he said “so what’s up” and when I didn’t reply he said “start speaking”. He then asked if I knew why he was there and I said “no clue” and he slowly inched into it. When I moved out of the old house I accidentally took a box that wasn’t mine. I guess they called the cops and told them I had stole it and wasn’t returning it.
My old landlord was a jerk and after I moved out he sent a whole bunch of nonsense text messages, for example getting mad at another person living in the house with me (there’s no element of truth to this). After a bit I ignored his text messages and one of them was “Did you take something from the attic that wasn’t yours?” to which I replied no. Other than this there was never any conversation. Recently, I did notice there was a box with my stuff that I didn’t recognize and the police officer said that fit the description of what was missing so I gave it to him. It was a rather uncomfortable situation as I explained it could have been my current roommate’s belongings and they weren’t home at the time. But the cop checked the box so I guess any mistake is on him.
My questions are
- When do the police get involved?
- must the police officer clearly state the reason he is here? For example it sure was strange having him come to the door, ask for me, and say “start talking”.
- When do the police have the right to resolve/conclude an issue? For all I know my old landlord could have made up a random list of things missing and I happened to have them then the cop could take them? I know in this situation I gave the cop permission, but could I have denied it e.g. “I don’t care what my what my old landlord told you, you don't have my permission to take the box, please leave.”
I’m thinking of calling the police officer and mentioning I was uninformed that the issue existed before he came to the house. I would also like to ask if I’m in trouble. Any advice?