Its always assumed that when attending a garage sale, that the items on display are the property of the home owner, or at least the home owners friend or relative. We also assume that the goods being sold are safe, and can be sold legally.
However this may not always be the case, and believe it or not, this can be something that happens more often than you think.
Occasionally items that are for sale at many garage sales are exactly that - stolen and or dangerous. In my time, I've never been to a garage sale that had hand grenades, machetes or $2 dvd players that "fell off the back of a truck" on sale. Most times, its the usual knick knacks -- kids bicycles, toys, baby goods, second hand tools, and maybe some clothing or the odd milk crate stuffed with odds and ends.
But what to do if you happen to stumble upon something that just doesnt quite look right?
It happened to a man last year who attended a garage sale here in Brisbane. Apparently a cache of weapons, including six handguns, 12 long arms, ammunition and other army ordinances were found. Now I'm not sure about you, but for me, Id certainly be asking some questions. Not exactly something you want the kids playing with, and most certainly not the type of items you want to haggle about price on!
Thankfully though, this case ended up being reported to the local authorities who acted quickly and took the necessary actions. The original article was posted here.
Other times the items may not quite look so obvious. They could be dvd players, mobile phones, television sets etc, that could be stolen items.
Without really knowing, its typically always best to pay close attention to small details. As an example, a laptop computer for sale without bag and charger, or 500 mobile phones in a box.
As a safety precaution, especially when in doubt about items that are "too good to be true" or look a bit suspicious -- it may be best to simply pass it off, and not buy it, or simply report it to the local authorities.