I look at this case.
A cop saw expensive stereo. The cop check the serial number and found that the stereo was stolen.
The cop move the stereo a bit and get the serial number. The evidence is thrown out of court.
However, I've heard cops can seize cash on even less suspicion.
Basically many cops see cash, think it's from drug dealing, and seize it.
The mere act of bringing cash is punishable by civil forfeiture without trial.
By that logic, the cop that suspect the stereo is from a crime, should also be able to seize the stereo.
Once the stereo is seized, it's easy to just look at the back and see the serial number.
Another way to look at this:
Why didn't the cop just use civil forfeiture laws to seize the stereo and then, after the stereo is on cops' hand, the cop can just see the serial number?
Did the cop have a right to seize the stereo under civil forfeiture law?
Can the cop see the stereo serial number after seizing the stereo?
If the answer two both question is yes, then why bother getting a warrant to look behind?
Also, what should have the cop done on that circumstances to capture the burglar? Nothing?