637:7-a Possession of Property Without Serial Number.
I. No person shall knowingly remove, deface, alter, change, destroy, obliterate or mutilate, or cause to be removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed, obliterated or mutilated the identifying number or numbers or any other identifying mark on any machine, mechanical or electrical device or any other property. Anyone doing so with the intent thereby to conceal the identity of the item or to defraud a manufacturer, seller or purchaser, or to hinder competition in the areas of sales and servicing, or to prevent the detection of a crime shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. Any person who buys, receives, possesses, sells or disposes of any machine, mechanical or electrical device or any other property knowing that the identification number or numbers or any other identifying mark on the item have been removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed, obliterated or mutilated shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, if a person discovering that the identification number or numbers or any other identifying mark have been removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed, obliterated or mutilated shall report the same to the nearest police station, he shall not be charged with violating this section. Further, said provisions do not apply to those persons who, on August 13, 1977, are lawfully in possession of that type of property described in paragraph I which does not have identifying numbers or marks or from which the identifying marks or numbers have been lost inadvertently.
III. The provisions of this section do not apply to those cases or instances where any of the changes or alterations enumerated in paragraph I have been customarily made or done in an established practice in the ordinary and regular conduct of business by the original manufacturer, or by his duly appointed direct representative, or under specific authorization from the original manufacturer.
IV. When property described in paragraph I comes into the custody of a law enforcement officer, it shall be considered stolen or embezzled property, and prior to being disposed of, shall have an identifying number engraved on it or embedded in it.
Source. 1977, 187:1, eff. Aug. 13, 1977.