If you have found a knife and you are wondering what your options are, you might be able to keep it. But before you make use of the good old finders-keepers rule, take a step back and analyze the situation.
There are a couple of things you have to keep in mind when it comes to finding a knife after walking through your neighborhood:
- It’s not your knife – not right now, anyways.
- Someone might have lost it and could be looking for it.
- It might have been disposed of – because it was part of a crime.
Before you pick it up, take a second and look at it
What can you tell about the knife? Was it hidden somewhere? Does it have blood on it? Does it look suspicious at all? A knife is a tool – often used for cooking, hunting, and other endeavors; sometimes it’s also used to commit crimes, whether it’s a robbery or murder.
Picking a knife up after it was used in crime puts you in a bad position, no matter how much you think you can explain your situation to the police. If you suspect this is the case, don’t touch the knife and call the non-emergency police line instead. Tell them where the knife is and move on with your day.
It’s not a suspicious-looking knife
Alright, there’s nothing wrong with the knife. Time to pick it up and take a closer look. Is it a hunting knife? Perhaps a kitchen knife? Does it look thrown away or lost?
Right now, there’s something you might want to consider: it’s someone else’s knife. And that person might be looking for it. You can leave it where it is and hope that whoever lost it to find it. Nevertheless, if it’s someplace where children can reach it, you should take it home.
Taking the knife home
Just to make sure everything is all right, call the non-emergency police line and explain your situation. If no knife-related crime was reported, you should have no problems whatsoever keeping the knife. If, on the other hand, a crime as committed, you should take it to the nearest police station. You should also bear in mind certain knives are against the law to own. Describe the knife when you make the call to avoid any further issues.
Are you in the clear? Then it’s time to make sure nobody owns the knife. Check for inscriptions on the handle. If there’s nothing there, you can (and should) post about it online. Social media, Craigslist or your town’s internet forum. If nobody claims it, it’s as good as yours!
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You went out for a walk and came back with a new knife, lucky you! Well, that is, as long as you want to keep it.
If you don’t want to keep the knife, it’s time to properly dispose of it. Don’t throw it to the trash like that. Place a bottle cork on top of the blade’s tip and place the knife inside either a box or a bottle. Use tape to seal the entire thing and take it outside. If possible, write a “knife” on top of the container you used.
If you want to keep the knife, clean it thoroughly before doing anything else. Take it for a test drive then. Is it dull or is it sharp? If it’s sharp, you are good to go! If it’s dull, you might have to sharpen it yourself or take it to someone who can repair it. If that seems like too much of a hassle, you can throw it away – as long as you do it safely, going through the entire sealing process.
Either way, the journey ends here!