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  1. #1
    Cary, NC Commuter BiketoFeel's Avatar
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    Did I Do the Right Thing? Bought Bike That Was Likely Stolen

    Okay, so I was at the BMX track yesterday which is close to a economically-challenged community. While watching practice I saw a group of 12-14 year olds walk by with an nice older road frame which had been converted to a single speed. It was quite obvious these kids had no business having this bike, although it's possible they acquired it by legal means. Anyway, they saw me staring and got upset so I turned away. Later, I walked by the same boys on my way back from get some water and one of them said something again about me staring. So, I turned around and walked over to the boy and said, "What's the big deal? I like bikes and I was just looking at your bike." To which he responds, "So, you want to buy it for $50?" To make a long story short, I bought the bike from them for $40 with the intention of posting the bike as found on Craigslist so that the owner may recover it. If I can't find the owner, eventually, I'll sell it.

    I was kind of torn on whether I did the right thing but I figured if I could get the bike back to the owner, it was worth taking the chance. (This is all on the assumption that the bike was actually stolen.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    Pics?

  3. #3
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    I would also convey this information to the local police, giving full details about the boy's description, the location, and the date of the sale.

    That way, if you get seen with the bike at some later date, you'll be covered against any criminal or civil charges against you. Though any business transaction between an adult and minor, is technically invalid anyway. The courts will waste no time in rescinding the sale.

  4. #4
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    If it was indeed stolen, you just gave them incentive to go steal another one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    interesting thread, good luck!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    I just saw listing on CL...I understand why no pics. Sorry

  7. #7
    Cary, NC Commuter BiketoFeel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    I would also convey this information to the local police, giving full details about the boy's description, the location, and the date of the sale.

    That way, if you get seen with the bike at some later date, you'll be covered against any criminal or civil charges against you. Though any business transaction between an adult and minor, is technically invalid anyway. The courts will waste no time in rescinding the sale.
    Another guy who was on the board of the parks department contacted the police, recorded the serial number and recorded my contact information. Apparently, he new someone at the police department.

  8. #8
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrish View Post
    I just saw listing on CL...I understand why no pics. Sorry
    Could you explain?

    and a link to the listing?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Something missing from this story. Not clear why you wouldn't just call the cops and report it.

  10. #10
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Something missing from this story. Not clear why you wouldn't just call the cops and report it.
    Thank you alan. I been WANTING to say A LOT. But, I restrained myself.

    I am glad that a lot of people REALLY SEE THIS thread for what it is, and out of respect, kept quiet..

    I am 72 years old, and a minority..
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoshnasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiketoFeel View Post
    ... I saw a group of 12-14 year olds walk... they saw me staring and got upset so I turned away... one of them said something again about me staring. So, I turned around and walked over to the boy and said, "What's the big deal? I like bikes and I was just looking at your bike." To which he responds, "So, you want to buy it for $50?" To make a long story short, I bought the bike from them for $40 with the intention of posting the bike as found on Craigslist so that the owner may recover it. If I can't find the owner, eventually, I'll sell it.
    I cut some pieces out from OP...

    I must ask, not that it really matters but are you a teen? I'm 30, and I doubt a group of 12-14 would "get upset" if I was staring at their bike, further, I don't think they would say something regarding my staring... Nor would I reply with "What's the big deal?" I'm assuming in a defensive tone.

    Had it been me and I actually gave a damn to get in someone elses business I would have called the cops. Going beyond that is just looking for a headache.

    Also, I have to agree with Gecho, by buying the bike you are incentivising more theft, since you just paid the thieves for their crime (if it is stollen of course).

    Keep us posted.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Something missing from this story. Not clear why you wouldn't just call the cops and report it.
    And report what?

    That you THINK that something may be stolen?

    In that case I should call the police for every CL bike that I think is to cheap!

    The OP did the right thing!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Could you explain?

    and a link to the listing?
    Here is link: http://raleigh.craigslist.org/bik/3069770666.html

    Explanation: I had asked for a pic of the bike originally. If the OP posts a pic here anyone could claim the bike.
    Last edited by sparrish; 06-11-12 at 10:44 AM. Reason: add content

  14. #14
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    And report what?

    That you THINK that something may be stolen?

    In that case I should call the police for every CL bike that I think is to cheap!

    The OP did the right thing!
    Since when has STEROTYPING been the right thing?????
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Could you explain?

    and a link to the listing?
    http://raleigh.craigslist.org/laf/3069828576.html

    No pics because he doesn't want anyone to see a picture of it and call him to say the bike is theirs with the ability to describe it to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Thank you alan. I been WANTING to say A LOT. But, I restrained myself.

    I am glad that a lot of people REALLY SEE THIS thread for what it is, and out of respect, kept quiet..

    I am 72 years old, and a minority..
    This was kind of cryptic. Care to explain for the slower folks

  16. #16
    Seņor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Since when has STEROTYPING been the right thing?????
    Who is stereotyping? Did the OP say he saw a couple "minorities" with a bike that looked like they couldn't afford? NO!!! Don't turn this into something it isn't.

    I think the OP did the right thing. If it was my bike I would be HAPPY to give you the $40 to get it back.
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  17. #17
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevychic55 View Post
    http://raleigh.craigslist.org/laf/3069828576.html

    No pics because he doesn't want anyone to see a picture of it and call him to say the bike is theirs with the ability to describe it to him.



    This was kind of cryptic. Care to explain for the slower folks
    Sure will..

    And far from cryptic too.

    1. which is close to a economically-challenged community.

    2. quite obvious these kids had no business having this bike
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  18. #18
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    Whether or not the OP intended it, I did think that noting apparent economic status read as "code."

  19. #19
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Rings6Stars View Post
    Who is stereotyping? Did the OP say he saw a couple "minorities" with a bike that looked like they couldn't afford? NO!!! Don't turn this into something it isn't.

    I think the OP did the right thing. If it was my bike I would be HAPPY to give you the $40 to get it back.
    The OP has took it upon him/herself to judge a neighboorhood and the people with the bike.

    What should have been done if the OP thought something was wrong was to CALL the police. The police, would then check out the bike, if there is a reason too, and if stolen take the correct action.

    This thread should have been dumped right where political threads should be. I am sure a lot of people see the same thing I see.
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  20. #20
    Cary, NC Commuter BiketoFeel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Could you explain?

    and a link to the listing?
    If I sent a picture, anyone could call and say, "Yep, that's my bike."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    The OP has took it upon him/herself to judge a neighboorhood and the people with the bike.

    What should have been done if the OP thought something was wrong was to CALL the police. The police, would then check out the bike, if there is a reason too, and if stolen take the correct action.

    This thread should have been dumped right where political threads should be. I am sure a lot of people see the same thing I see.
    While I see your point, I also see the OP's perspective. My commute takes me through a couple of poor areas, one predominantly white and one predominantly black. I'd be... surprised I guess, if I saw someone on a nice road bike. Pretty much all I see in those areas are BMX bikes, cheap wal-mart double suspension mountain bikes and the occasional greybeard rocking a beach cruiser. Why? Because that's what they sell at thrift stores and pawn shops around here.

    Personally, I wouldn't have gotten involved and I'm not inclined to pass judgement. It's not fair to question someone's possession of something because of their perceived economic status. I don't think the OP meant to put any dog whistles in his post.

  22. #22
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    I think you did the right thing. For the most part. You could have taken the bike to the police and said you found it, and they would hold it until somebody picked it up, or have you take it back. But on the other hand that would assume the owner reported it as stolen.

    If it wasn't stolen, then what's the big deal? He bought a bike. If the kids had no business with it, they were probably too small to ride it. If I saw a group of 13 year olds all walking with an adult bicycle I'd think that was a bit odd too.

  23. #23
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    I am sure a lot of people see the same thing I see.
    Not really, unless they all jump to conclusions. I always laugh at people attempting to be PC.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    So now you are in possession of (possibly) stolen goods, which you paid someone on the street presumably well below market value, all in the hope of somehow finding the original owner? Why would you put yourself in that position, instead of calling the police and reporting your suspicions. It doesn't add up.

  25. #25
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    any bets on how long it takes for this to move to P&R?
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