> Well, the person that found it is actually guilty of an offence
I think you'll find he isn't.
> The article states that the USB stick was clearly branded, and it was obvious it belonged to The
> Greater Manchester Police
No. It says that the stick had some branding. Given what is quoted in the article, I certainly wouldn't have associated it with the Police.
> the finder is guilty of "theft by finding".
Not so. Theft offences are described in the Theft Act 1968, and involve an act permanently to deprive the owner of something. There was no such act in this case.
> If I ever found anything belonging to the local constabulary, I'm pretty sure I'd return it straight
> away rather than risk getting on the wrong side of those with the power to make my life a
I, too, am worried by the tendency of certain Police forces to behave in inappropriate or illegal ways. But that doesn't mean that this guy broke any laws - he just embarrassed some people with a tendency to take the law into their own hands when caught doing something wrong...