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  1. #1
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I just dont understand

    When it comes to cyclist and bicycles, the police and prosecutors seem to come to a screehing halt. Local happenings and so many posts on bike forums prove this is true. I just dont understant why this is true. There are incidents of a cyclist being run down on the shoulder, and even in a few cases on sidewalks. Yet the motorist get off with a slap on the wrist, if anything at all. This is true even if the motorist is drunk!! Bicycles can be stolen, and the police do nothing more than file paperwork. Sure many bikes that are stolen are cheap superstore bikes, but many can be really expensive high end bikes. Stealing a high end bike amounts to grand thief, yet little is done.

    Are any members of this forum policemen, lawyers, or prosecutors, and can they explain why this is business as usual?

  2. #2
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    Itís Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks; It is not called Complaingiving.That is the other 364 days of the year in this forum.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    ..... Sure many bikes that are stolen are cheap superstore bikes, but many can be really expensive high end bikes. Stealing a high end bike amounts to grand thief, yet little is done......


    Bicycles are easier to hide, strip down, and are harder to identify than an automobile. Plus, the ridicule that our local law enforcement received, from local residents, on their setting up a bicycle sting operation, I can see why our local law enforcement is now reluctant to put forth any major effort into bicycle theft investigation.

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    I was just talking about this we just don't receive enough respect. Police have more to do than worry about some one getting run over. We have to educate ourselves and others and advocate our position. Till we get noticed by police we won't get the justice we need.

  5. #5
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    The police are two-faced when it comes to people and bikes. Police are quick to arrest/stun a cyclist. Yet, Police are disgustingly reluctant to help a cyclist.

  6. #6
    Woof! venturi95's Avatar
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    Prejudice exists. Some cops see riders as a-holes and scoff-laws, and they are assumed to be at fault even in the face of hard evidence. Cops sometimes lie on accident reports (I know this first hand) without repercussion. Thankfully, these types are the minority, and I think as time goes by more police realize that not all adults who ride are DUI riders or weirdos. I have no idea how judges come up with some of the sentences they do. As for stolen bikes, how do you suggest they use limited time and resources to find the purloined bikes? It's just about impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
    As for stolen bikes, how do you suggest they use limited time and resources to find the purloined bikes? It's just about impossible.
    Several ways. One is through sting operations with bait bikes as mentioned above - hope they'd get more community support than they did in dynodonn's town.

    Another way is to have a computer program cross reference between Craigslist and other used bike sales sites vs. the police database of stolen bike reports. Flag any that look similar and have a clerk review those and send out an undercover cop to check out the most promising cases. But we just had a report on the local forums where someone found their own stolen bike listed on Craigslist and the police weren't interested in pursuing it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    .....But we just had a report on the local forums where someone found their own stolen bike listed on Craigslist and the police weren't interested in pursuing it.
    In this situation, hopefully one could buy it back for penny on the dollars of what they originally paid for it, provided it was still in the same condition when it was stolen, and take more aggressive steps to keep the bike from getting stolen again.

    Not a fan of personally confronting thieves, especially in my town.

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    Automobile lobby > bicycle lobby
    Reverborama sent me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Some suggestions:
    • Your perceptions are biased by cases that receive notice because they are unusual. (Mine are.)
    • You pay less attention to the results of cases involving two mv drivers. (I do.)
    • Stolen bikes are much harder to find than stolen cars.
    • A stolen car report requires filling out paperwork and often stops there unless and until the car happens to be found.
    • The most serious criminal penalties require proof of intent. Other require proof of negligence.
    • Most police departments/prosecutors/courts are stretched so thin they only survive by doing case triage.
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    I think it has a lot to do with tribalism. Currently, very few cops, DAs or judges are or know any cyclists, so in the us vs. them paradigm, we're "them". However, as the number of cyclists increases, that is changing.

    We had a cop murdered during a traffic stop this year; the officer was on his way home to go for a bike ride when he decided to do one last stop. He had recently begun cycling for fitness. Prior to his death, our local police generally ignored it when cyclists were assaulted or even murdered by scofflaw motorists. The change was evident last week when a drunk 21-year-old ran over a university student who was riding in a bike lane. The drunk was arrested and initially charged with assault. the charge was changed to manslaughter upon the death of the cyclist. Five years ago there would have been no charges filed.

  12. #12
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    Car / truck drivers kill and maim people all of the time and they seem to only ever get slaps on the wrist. Even when they do so whilst driving intoxicated the punishment is limp wristed to say the least. It’s not that cyclists are lower class citizens. It’s more that society values mobility via motorised transport far more than people.
    Commuting to work on my 2008 Gold Kona Blast Deluxe Hardtail

  13. #13
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    Try being friend(ly) to cops it may not help (it hasn't paid off yet for me) but, it gives them one more human face to think about when confronted with these situations.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    When it comes to cyclist and bicycles, the police and prosecutors seem to come to a screehing halt. Local happenings and so many posts on bike forums prove this is true. I just dont understant why this is true. There are incidents of a cyclist being run down on the shoulder, and even in a few cases on sidewalks. Yet the motorist get off with a slap on the wrist, if anything at all. This is true even if the motorist is drunk!! Bicycles can be stolen, and the police do nothing more than file paperwork. Sure many bikes that are stolen are cheap superstore bikes, but many can be really expensive high end bikes. Stealing a high end bike amounts to grand thief, yet little is done.

    Are any members of this forum policemen, lawyers, or prosecutors, and can they explain why this is business as usual?
    Don't forget that we've also have heard from at least one member here who either was hit by a motorist and as they're being loaded into the ambulance that a cop told them that they couldn't leave their bike on the side of the road. And that in the case that happened shortly after Trotwood v Selz when two cyclists from W. Va were arrested that their bikes were just left laying on the side of the road. And that luckily there was someone in the crowd of onlookers who recognized the teen and was willing to take custody of the bikes to protect them.

    Why aren't bikes given the same consideration as cars? If a person is arrested during the commission of a crime, their car is usually impounded, or if they're in a car crash one of the LEOS call a tow truck to tow the car. But if it's a bike it's left on the side of the road, or the victim is told that they can't leave their bike at the scene of the crash.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
    Prejudice exists. Some cops see riders as a-holes and scoff-laws, and they are assumed to be at fault even in the face of hard evidence. Cops sometimes lie on accident reports (I know this first hand) without repercussion. Thankfully, these types are the minority, and I think as time goes by more police realize that not all adults who ride are DUI riders or weirdos. I have no idea how judges come up with some of the sentences they do. As for stolen bikes, how do you suggest they use limited time and resources to find the purloined bikes? It's just about impossible.
    So then why can they find the time and resources to find a stolen car that's worth less then a moderate to high end bicycle?

    If they can look for a car that is worth considerably less then a moderate to high end bicycle then they can look for a moderate to high end bicycle.

    A friend of mine had not only his but his son's bike stolen. When he went to file a claim he was asked do you really want to do that and have your premium go up?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Some suggestions:

    • Your perceptions are biased by cases that receive notice because they are unusual. (Mine are.)
    • You pay less attention to the results of cases involving two mv drivers. (I do.)
    • Stolen bikes are much harder to find than stolen cars.
    • A stolen car report requires filling out paperwork and often stops there unless and until the car happens to be found.
    • The most serious criminal penalties require proof of intent. Other require proof of negligence.
    • Most police departments/prosecutors/courts are stretched so thin they only survive by doing case triage.
    The irony though is that as has been stated that there are people with bikes that are worth as much if not more then a lot of the "clunkers" that are currently on the road. And the police don't seem to have much problem in finding either the time or resources to locate those cars. I believe that they have something called a "hot sheet" which lists the stolen automobiles. So why can't they do the same for bicycles?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by con View Post
    It’s Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks; It is not called Complaingiving.That is the other 364 days of the year in this forum.
    I thank all the cops out there for not doing there JOB

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    "But we just had a report on the local forums where someone found their own stolen bike listed on Craigslist and the police weren't interested in pursuing it."

    In this situation, hopefully one could buy it back for penny on the dollars of what they originally paid for it, provided it was still in the same condition when it was stolen, and take more aggressive steps to keep the bike from getting stolen again.

    Not a fan of personally confronting thieves, especially in my town.
    But that does nothing to stop the problem of bike theft - in fact it just rewards the thief and encourages them to continue to steal. OTOH, if the police have someone pretend to be a buyer they could check the serial number and then arrest the seller if the bike is stolen. This would also give the police probable cause for a search. The seller has multiple bikes for sale - not unlikely that at least some of the others are also stolen.

    Seems like a relatively small amount of police time in cases like this could have a significant impact on the profitability of bike theft. So it's discouraging that the police weren't interested in pursuing it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    But that does nothing to stop the problem of bike theft - in fact it just rewards the thief and encourages them to continue to steal. OTOH, if the police have someone pretend to be a buyer they could check the serial number and then arrest the seller if the bike is stolen. This would also give the police probable cause for a search. The seller has multiple bikes for sale - not unlikely that at least some of the others are also stolen.

    Seems like a relatively small amount of police time in cases like this could have a significant impact on the profitability of bike theft. So it's discouraging that the police weren't interested in pursuing it.
    Your last comment is why I made my suggestion, if local law enforcement isn't behind you, other than a confrontation with the "possible" thief, what other options would you suggest?

    I've listened to a friend who legally busted up a theft ring doing his own footwork, with the help of one local LEO, when our local law enforcement showed little signs of investigating his case.

    After some considerable effort, my friend got 16 persons to serve sentences from 3 months to 5 years, but the real irony is that the same local law enforcement was quick to issue a concealed carry permit to my friend after my friend received numerous threats.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 11-26-11 at 09:46 AM.

  20. #20
    rwp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    So then why can they find the time and resources to find a stolen car that's worth less then a moderate to high end bicycle?

    If they can look for a car that is worth considerably less then a moderate to high end bicycle then they can look for a moderate to high end bicycle.

    A friend of mine had not only his but his son's bike stolen. When he went to file a claim he was asked do you really want to do that and have your premium go up?
    Cops won't devote any more time to looking for a stolen car than for a stolen bike or anything else. Stolen cars are recovered more often because they are often abandoned after a joyride or after part stripping. These cars can be identified through VIN numbers and returned to their owners. Recovered bikes are more often auctioned off since the owner can't be found. The cops NEVER "look" for stolen cars.

  21. #21
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    The irony though is that as has been stated that there are people with bikes that are worth as much if not more then a lot of the "clunkers" that are currently on the road. And the police don't seem to have much problem in finding either the time or resources to locate those cars. I believe that they have something called a "hot sheet" which lists the stolen automobiles. So why can't they do the same for bicycles?
    Perhaps this is so because both plate and VIN numbers are a matter of easily accessible record for cars with our bikes being put in the same category as stolen electronics, etc.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwp View Post
    Cops won't devote any more time to looking for a stolen car than for a stolen bike or anything else. Stolen cars are recovered more often because they are often abandoned after a joyride or after part stripping. These cars can be identified through VIN numbers and returned to their owners. Recovered bikes are more often auctioned off since the owner can't be found. The cops NEVER "look" for stolen cars.
    Then why do they have a "hot sheet" to see if a car is stolen?
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Perhaps this is so because both plate and VIN numbers are a matter of easily accessible record for cars with our bikes being put in the same category as stolen electronics, etc.
    I'm sorry, but that's just just an excuse for them to be "lazy" and not to do their job. As both bikes and electronics have S/N on them. And they're not that hard to find. Yes, with the S/N being on the bottom of the bottom bracket of most bikes, it requires that the bike be turned upside down.

    Maybe it'd be better if the S/N on bikes were stamped on the head tube instead of the bottom bracket.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Perhaps this is so because both plate and VIN numbers are a matter of easily accessible record for cars with our bikes being put in the same category as stolen electronics, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    I'm sorry, but that's just just an excuse for them to be "lazy" and not to do their job. As both bikes and electronics have S/N on them. And they're not that hard to find. Yes, with the S/N being on the bottom of the bottom bracket of most bikes, it requires that the bike be turned upside down.

    Maybe it'd be better if the S/N on bikes were stamped on the head tube instead of the bottom bracket.
    I guess you missed the both "easily accessible record" and the presence of a license plate for motor vehicles. That some things are unlike others does not by any rational standard imply slothfulness on the part of law enforcement.
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    What we need is a masked vigilante superhero to recover stolen bikes and deliver justice to motorized evildoers (bad drivers).
    Reverborama sent me.

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