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Thread: How do I find the owner of an abandoned truck

  1. #1

    Default How do I find the owner of an abandoned truck

    Ok so there is a Peterbilt 379 and tractor as well as 2-3 others sitting at the old K-Mart building in my town, this truck has been there since before the store closed in 1999 so im pretty sure nobodys coming back for it. It still runs the keys were still in the switch so we took a truck jump starter and a can of ether up there and the old cat 3406 fired off with little effort. Anyway i want to buy or otherwise obtain it but i want to do it legitimately but dont know how to do so and want to know if anyone knows how or how to find out please let me know i will appreciate it,Thanks

  2. #2


    Have you looked around the truck to see if any of its papers are in it. If not your best option is to write down its License Plate and take it to the DMV and see what they can do.

  3. #3

  4. #4


    If it truly has been abandoned since 1999, then check your area's eminent domain laws on how long you have to wait for abandoned property to be available for the public to claim. I believe most areas are 7 to 10 years.

  5. #5


    Eminent domain isn't the applicable law (that allows the state to take private property). It's not adverse possession either.
    Absent knowing who the owner of the vehicle, you need to talk to the owner of the land it is sitting on before you steal it.

  6. #6


    I have great difficulty believing that a vehicle was left in a parking lot for 14 years, with the keys inside it, and it hasn't vanished yet...

  7. #7


    Checking the vin number will tell you a lot and (at least in the state of Nebraska) only costs you certified postage + one dollar and the process is relatively quick. This will tell you if there's any red flag issues and the name of the previous owner to whom it was titled. Google should tell you the rest. If the vehicle in question comes clean and the previous titled owner is otherwise unreachable; then yes, check local laws about possession of abandoned property. Most usually if the property is known to have been there for a while (in your case years), then the authorities probably won't have a problem with you claiming it. In reality it's less work for them because they don't have to process it.

    Additionally a possible reason for its abandonment could be that there is a repo order out for it. This means it is not legal for you to claim it and doing so will bring a wave of over-the-phone/snail-mail assholery you never imagined. Instead you could turn it in yourself and actually claim a small reward. Long shot though, no promises there.

  8. #8


    You might want to look up the salvage laws for Nebraska. I'm sure it's passed the limit and could be salvaged. I'm not sure it could be licensed until you get legal ownership.

  9. #9


    You can't SALVAGE something that is sitting on someone else's property. That's called grand larceny.

  10. #10


    I would go to your local county courthuse and find out who the property owner is. In this case the owner is probably an absentee owener. If the property taxes are't paid up to date
    then the county could then put a hold everthing that is on the property till the taxes are paid. I would say if the items that are on the property that's been there that long are tiedup
    legally until the issues are settled.

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