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Old 08-17-10, 09:21 AM   #1
TromboneAl
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This is a Scam, Isn't It?

This is something someone posted on another forum:

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/heard-from-someone-who-has-my-stolen-bike-51633.html

He put a "stolen bike" ad on Craigslist, and got this reply:
i saw your posting for the stolen [bike model] and i have your bike. i honestly did not steal your bike i just bought it from the flea market today. the serial on the bike match the one you have posted. i know what it feels like to get a bike stolen so thats why i am willing to give it back to you. i honestly paid 490 for it and i was originally going to keep the bike for myself but since it was stolen i would rather return it to its owner. i can meet up with you in [location removed] and once again im just trying to help someone out.
Anyone heard of this scam?
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Old 08-17-10, 09:22 AM   #2
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Does the information in the email match up with reality?
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Old 08-17-10, 10:03 AM   #3
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Either way it's a matter for the police. If the person does have the stolen bike, he could possibly lead to the person that stole it. If it's a robbery scam, then the police should know about it. BTW, who would pay $490 for any bike at a flea market?
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Old 08-17-10, 10:33 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=leob1;11303699]Either way it's a matter for the police. If the person does have the stolen bike, he could possibly lead to the person that stole it. If it's a robbery scam, then the police should know about it. BTW, who would pay $490 for any bike at a flea market?[/QUOTE]

That's about how I would feel as well.
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Old 08-17-10, 10:37 AM   #5
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Receiving stolen property, knowingly or not, is most likely a 2nd class felony in your state. I would go into this armed with whatever law you have on your side.

The "seller" had better be able to provide the police with the location of the "flea" market. Most flea market operators charge for the stalls and should have records of the "seller" and can track it back from there. If the guy that bought it at the flea market can not provide a sales receipt then maybe you can get the guy he bought it from for failure to collect an pay sales tax on the transaction at a minimum.
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Old 08-17-10, 01:44 PM   #6
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Does the information in the email match up with reality?
Yes, but apparently there's no info that couldn't have been gleaned from the "my bike was stolen" craigslist ad.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:00 PM   #7
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All one would need to do is first you make the meeting spot not them, you let the local police know that you are going to meet and have them stand by and wait, after transaction they can step in and do what they want.
Lucky for me I have several friends that are officers that would help with this task.
This way your not in any danger of a scam and at the same time the police can ask questions as to the purchase.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yes, but apparently there's no info that couldn't have been gleaned from the "my bike was stolen" craigslist ad.
Easy enough to ask a couple of questions that could not be answered by the ad. If they can't answer them, it is a scam. If they can, they have the bike.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:44 PM   #9
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Not necessarily a scam

I know a guy who returned a stolen bike to its rightful owner. He also did not know the bike was stolen until he heard about a bike shop's dirty dealings. Apparently the shop was in money trouble so it told some customers that the shop had been broken into and their bikes were taken. Meanwhile they sold the bikes to unwitting customers who thought the bikes were legit. When my friend found out about the scam he returned the bike to the lawful owner and didn't ask for a cent. I don't know if he ever recovered the $ he was out.
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Old 08-18-10, 10:37 AM   #10
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To avoid any scam simply ask for a photo of the serial number. Easy. I try to avoid any dealings with The Authorities no matter which side I'm on until absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-18-10, 09:23 PM   #11
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POLICE? You are joking, right? In this part of the country we can't even get a response to a multi-car break-in! Two cars in our driveway broken into, windows shattered, dash boards destroyed, radios in pieces, blood evidence left behind and all we can get is an 800 number to report the incident to.

The violence in our city is up and the law can't figure out why. Few citizens even bother to call the police anymore, they just deal with percieved injustices themselves.

I do not condone this trend, but wake up man, this is the world we live in now.

Call the police first, but don't be too suprised if they give you an 800 number to file a report.

If you go to this meet, you go with a car full of really big dudes and preferably armed.
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Old 08-19-10, 06:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
POLICE? You are joking, right? In this part of the country we can't even get a response to a multi-car break-in! Two cars in our driveway broken into, windows shattered, dash boards destroyed, radios in pieces, blood evidence left behind and all we can get is an 800 number to report the incident to.

The violence in our city is up and the law can't figure out why. Few citizens even bother to call the police anymore, they just deal with perceived injustices themselves.

I do not condone this trend, but wake up man, this is the world we live in now.

Call the police first, but don't be too surprised if they give you an 800 number to file a report.

If you go to this meet, you go with a car full of really big dudes and preferably armed.
Hmmm. I've always found that approaching an officer face-to-face for this kind of thing garners the best results. At least in all the places I've lived (granted all East Coast) most officers were more than happy to help. When you call, you are likely getting someone stationed at a desk who is overwhelmed with paperwork, phone calls, etc. When you approach an officer on the street, you're likely getting someone who is more "community minded". That is, he or she is supposed to be interacting with the public in a helpful manner.

But, back to the original post. I think there is way too much risk to at least not suspect it is a scam. I would most likely involve the police.
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Old 08-19-10, 06:58 PM   #13
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Bring back the beat Cop. My Dad was an Irish Baltimore beat cop his entire career. Never drove a car. Never once fired a gun but had a habit of dispensing "wood shampoos" regularly. Steal a bicycle on my old mans beat and get caught? Oh my. Especially if you were from the neighborhood. My old man would beat yer a$$ and then take you home where your dad would repeat the process. We need more good old fashioned a$$-whoopin's.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:21 AM   #14
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Did I miss something..............i didn't notice the guy asking for the 490 back, or is that just assumed?
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