Steal a bike, tamper with evidence
There has been a lot of discussion about a bicycle lately which was considered to be critical evidence in the recent disappearance of a local college student. It had been locked up at Bridal Veil falls, presumably by Camille Cleverley. Two teenagers stole it, (I’m not mincing words here, but others may choose to do so) and one of them took it home to cannibalize for parts.
Turns out that neither of them knew that the bike in question belonged to the missing student, and when they saw it on the news, the turned the bike over to the police. I read in the comments to this article that they thought it was abandoned, and that “the bike’s tires were flat and the bike looked abused as if it had been there a long time”. Now, that quote is not directly from the thief, but I do find it interesting. This was a bike purchased in June. How old and abused could it have looked? And even at that, it still had a lock on it.
No charges have been filed in connection with the theft, which I find a bit unfair. Regardless of the condition of the bike, these kids stole it. They could have turned it in to the police, and possibly been able to keep it if it went unclaimed after a certain amount of time. But they cut the lock, and took it home. This was at 1:00 AM Saturday, a few days after Camille went missing. It wasn’t until the following Wednesday, nearly a week after she was last heard from, that they saw a picture of the bike on television, and came forward.
So regardless of their intent, these two have committed a crime by stealing the bike, and unknowingly tampered with evidence. Had they done the right thing, and left the bike there, Camille may have been found sooner. I don’t care if all they get is community service, they should still be charged with the theft.
To Camille’s family and friends, my family offers our condolences.
Can you be charged with evidence tampering if it was done without knowledge that it was indeed evidence?
They are bike thieves, and to me that is as bad as a horse or car thief (maybe worse) but I don’t see how they could know it was evidence. I think most bike thieves would have just destroyed the bike once they found out it was evidence instead of taking the rap for the crime they knew they were committing.