I picked up an abandoned bike a couple weeks ago beside a dumpster. I was looking for a road bike to ride and I found it there. It was not in a rideable shape. Eyed it for about four days but no one took it. Then I took it into my garage.
I fixed it up and rode it around for a couple weeks. Worked for me. Then I realized that this bike might have been stolen. I looked up all local stolen bike registries with the serial number. None reported stolen. Then I looked at all of Canada. No match.
Finally put up an ad on Craigslist for it... will be sad to see it go since I put in a lot of work to make it run again, but... what's right is right. No response yet, though.
So the real question: Is it legal for me to keep the bike? What happens if any bloke comes up to me and claims that it's his / her bike? Do I have a right to maintain possession of the bike until the owner provides proof?
I'd like some advice both morally and legally. I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, if that helps.
If anyone cares, here's a list of everything I did to make it run smooth again.
-Replaced front wheel (original wheel looked like it was hammered)
-New seat (old seat was torn up with no cushion left)
-Lots and lots of grime removal
-Lots and lots of rust removal
-Replaced both brake and shift cables. Had to replace housing as well (rust?ish grime)
-Replaced rear tire (no grip, bald spots showing)
-Replaced front tube (slow leak)
Ran me down about $60~ and about 8 hours of labour. Had a friend help me out for some part of it.